Allyson Schwartz commits to Pennsylvania governor campaign

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) is firmly committed to running against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), a source close to Schwartz confirmed to The Hill Thursday afternoon.

Schwartz has hired Obama campaign veteran Reesa Kossoff as her campaign communications director. Kossoff ran President Obama's regional press shop in the key swing state of Ohio in 2012.

The five-term congresswoman has been moving toward a run for months, and said in early March that it was her "intention" to run for the governor's mansion. She's already given up her leadership position with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to focus on a statewide campaign.

Schwartz will likely be a formidable candidate: she's a fundraising powerhouse and has deep connections both with Democratic leaders and in greater Philadelphia, the state's largest metro area. She's also likely to get major backing in the primary from some key groups, including EMILY's List, which backs Democratic women who support abortion rights and recently commissioned a poll of the state showing her in strong position in both the primary and general election.

Corbett is also very vulnerable — his approval ratings have been underwater in a number of recent polls, and rank among the weakest of any governor in the nation.

But the congresswoman isn't guaranteed the nomination. Former state Environmental Protection Agency head John Hangar (D) has already jumped into the primary, and Pennsylvania state Treasurer Rob McCord (D) has been moving toward a bid.

Former Senate candidate and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) also recently jumped back into politics with an editorial attacking Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), but that could be more of a sign that he's looking at a rematch against Toomey in 2016 than a run for governor.

Schwartz's congressional district is heavily Democratic and her House seat will likely stay in her party's hands in the next election.

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