HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Associated Press reports… A Republican state senator from south central Pennsylvania said Saturday that he will run for governor, adding to the GOP’s double-digits-deep primary field aiming to take on the presumed Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in next year’s election.
Sen. Scott Martin, of Lancaster County, announced it in a video on his campaign website and Facebook page. He becomes the second Republican state senator in a field that is roughly a dozen deep and likely to grow.
Martin, 49, a former county commissioner, was first elected in 2016, and is the Senate’s Education Committee chair.
In his video messages, he leans heavily on his experience as a county commissioner — the challenges of balancing budgets and improving services — and working to become successful as a wrestler and football player in high school and college.
He also attacks what he says are holding Pennsylvanians back: government insiders, special interests, profit-hungry businesses, media, tech companies, health care costs and schools that “ignore parents and fail to meet the needs of kids year after year.”
“Getting Pennsylvania back on the right path means focusing on people and the things that make their lives better, not grandiose plans that sound good but never happen,” Martin said. “That’s why I’m running for governor.”
Martin is relatively unknown statewide. However, he has the advantage of being from a growing county that has the fourth-most registered Republicans in the state.
Gov. Tom Wolf, a second-term Democrat, is constitutionally restricted from serving a third term. He has endorsed Shapiro, who is serving his second term as the state’s elected attorney general.
In the Senate, Martin has provided a reliable vote for Republican leadership on fiscal matters, pandemic-related legislation and hot-button issues like abortion, guns and elections.
The governor’s race, however, could turn on national issues.
Speaking with reporters Saturday, Martin hedged on questions about two issues that have been prominent with Republican primary voters: repealing mail-in voting and banning abortion.
Martin said there isn’t enough support in the Legislature to repeal the state’s expansive mail-in voting law that he supported in 2019. The law has lost favor with Republicans since former President Donald Trump began in early 2020 baselessly attacking mail-in voting as rife with fraud.
On abortion, Martin has backed Republican efforts to add restrictions, since vetoed by Wolf.