State Sen. John Yudichak ended all the “suspense” Thursday and decided against running for his friend U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta’s 11th Congressional District seat.
With Yudichak out, the Democrats’ best chance at winning back the seat Barletta took away goes out the window.
The announced or potential Democratic candidates are:
— Robert Alan Howe, an Air Force veteran from Carlisle and the only Democrat to publicly declare a candidacy.
— Luzerne County Councilman Tim McGinley. He’s still thinking about it and told me today he’s still looking for “solid commitments” of help. A lot of people have asked him about running. I don’t doubt that, but he sounds unenthusiastic.
— Dennis Wolff, a Columbia County dairy farmer and former agriculture secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell. I wrote about him a couple weeks back. He said he would decide in early October. October starts Sunday so stay tuned.
On the Republican side, we already have:
–– State Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-199, Cumberland County. He already announced.
— Former state revenue secretary Dan Meuser of Kingston Township. He already announced.
— Berwick Councilman Andrew Shecktor. He already announced.
— Andrew Lewis, chief operating officer for Tradesman Drywall, a Harrisburg drywall installation and interior finishing company. He’s supposedly still thinking about it, but he won’t call me back.
— Former state deputy attorney general Joe Peters. He has embarked on a districtwide listening tour.
It’s a Republican seat to lose, as I’ve said before. Here’s Yudichak’s full statement on why he isn’t running: