HARRISBURG (PA) — Bill McSwain announced Monday that he will run for Pennsylvania governor. He joins a crowded Republican field that could get larger.
McSwain announced his first run for public office.
He had written in July to Trump to get his endorsement for the governorship. He had also told party leaders for months that he would be running in the next year’s elections.
In Monday’s campaign video McSwain attacked Democratic Gov. McSwain criticized Tom Wolf’s handling the pandemic. He said “we will not have any forced closings or state dictates” and also echoed familiar Republican themes on nationalized culture war issues and cutting taxes.
” “I will fight with all of the commitment I learned as both a Marine and a prosecutor in order to restore law, order, freedom and economic opportunities,” he stated.
McSwain stated that a key theme of his campaign was “restoring people’s liberty and standing up for their individual rights.”
McSwain is a 52, who lives in Chester County. He was the U.S. Attorney for the eastern District of Pennsylvania, which includes Philadelphia, for more than three years. He was also an assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia during George W. Bush’s presidency.
He is a graduate of Harvard and Yale, and has worked at two large law firms in Philadelphia — Drinker Biddle & Reath, and currently, Duane Morris.
McSwain tried to argue that he is best placed to defeat the likely Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro. McSwain is from Philadelphia’s heavily populated suburbs, but it is not clear that his time as U.S. Attorney there has earned him name recognition.
His supporters like to point out that Republicans from Pennsylvania have a tradition in nominating governor candidates who are former prosecutors. This includes three of them — Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge — who were elected.
But he will have to first get through the Republican field. This includes former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta who was the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate. 2018.
Several Republican state senators have also considered running. The governor’s office is now open to Wolf term-limited. If a Republican is elected, the GOP could have complete control of the statehouse where Republicans hold large majority in the Senate and state House.
McSwain, the U.S. Attorney, fought Democrats in Philadelphia over law enforcement policy. He accused city officials of being too permissive when they prosecuted violent crimes and defied the “rules of law” through the sanctuary city policy. McSwain also successfully fought plans to open a medically supervised site for drug-injection sites.
McSwain just returned from an episode in July, where Trump, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Dallas, claimed he received a letter claiming that Bill Barr, Trump’s attorney general would not allow McSwain to investigate fraud in the November presidential election.
McSwain wrote that he was given a directive to “pass along serious allegations to state attorney general for an investigation,” but he did not give any examples.
Barr denied to The Philadelphia Inquirer he had given McSwain a directive to “pass along serious allegations to the state attorney general for investigation,” but he did not give any examples. According to Barr, the order came rather from a top deputy of Barr and directed McSwain not to investigate allegations of election fraud.
McSwain told Barr that he did this because Trump was putting pressure on him and that Trump couldn’t attack him. Barr stated that McSwain tried to “thread the needle” by saying “things technically true” but not giving support to Trump’s stolen election narrative.
McSwain later maintained that the letter was true. McSwain later denied publicly chastising Trump for his baseless claims regarding election fraud, or for inciting supporters storming the U.S. Capitol on January. 6.
When Shapiro was asked about McSwain’s claims, Shapiro said that it had a close working relationship and never heard of election-related concerns from McSwain. He also stated that he had not received a referral from McSwain.
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