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Schenker says he’d step aside for Meehan in Lt. Gov. race

Republican Lieutanant Governor candidate Rick Schenker said Friday that he would drop out of the GOP primary if gubernatorial candidate Pat Meehan opts for a run for Lt. Gov. instead.

In a brief interview with, Schenker, the former Erie County Executive, said he wanted to be Lt. Gov. and push important policy issues onto the public agenda. But he said he was under no illusions that a race against someone like Meehan would be futile.

“As much as I love politics and enjoy getting into something that I think I can win, I’m also pragmatic enough to realize that if [Attorney General Tom] Corbett and Meehan got together on a ticket like that, it would be so incredibly strong that I would probably be wasting my time,” Schenker said. “There’s no sense in doing that to my family if I don’t stand any chance of winning.”

Meehan has not expressed any interest in playing second fiddle to Corbett, and his campaign has insisted he is focused only on beating Corbett in next year’s gubernatorial primary. But many Republicans, eager to recapture the Governor’s Mansion after 8 years, have been pressuring him to explore other options, including runs for Congress or Lt. Gov.

Schenker, for his part, said his stance was rooted less in a desire for a Republican unity than in the realization that he simply couldn’t beat Meehan.

“I believe [Republicans will win the governorship] no matter who’s on the ticket,” he said.

June 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

--Dan Hirschhorn

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