Former US attorney enters race for governor in Pennsylvania

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Former U.S. attorney Bill McSwain entered the Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial race Monday, touting himself as a conservative champion in the marquee contest. 

McSwain, a former top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia during the Trump administration, tore into the restrictions Gov. Tom Wolf (D) put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wolf is term-limited and will not be running for reelection next year.

“I’ll fight to restore the freedoms that Gov. Tom Wolf has taken away. We will have no forced closings and no state dictates on how Pennsylvanians live their lives. Tom Wolf suffocated our economy, stifled entrepreneurship and paid people more not to work,” he said in a launch video. 

McSwain also leaned heavily on his law enforcement background and touted his association with former President Trump, stating that he will be a staunch ally of local and state officers.

“I’ll support our police and bring back the rule of law. I’ll never cut police funding and will stand up to those who try,” he said. “As President Trump’s U.S. attorney, I put criminals and corrupt politicians in jail. I put rioters, looters and arsonists where they belong – behind bars.” 

McSwain has also been a supporter of Trump’s election fraud claims, writing a letter to the former president saying the Department of Justice had interfered with his efforts to probe election fraud claims. Former Attorney General William Barr, McSwain’s boss during his time as U.S. attorney, has batted those claims down.  

McSwain is just one of several Republicans who has declared or expressed interest in a gubernatorial bid, including former Rep. Lou Barletta, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, State Sen. Dan Laughlin and State Sen. Scott Martin.

Democrats have largely coalesced behind state Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the race. 

The governor’s race is expected to be one of the nation’s most hotly contested gubernatorial elections. 

Pennsylvania is already a key swing state, and Republicans are especially eager to flip the governor’s mansion since they already control the state legislature and would have complete control over Pennsylvania’s government with a win.

Tags Bill Barr Bill McSwain Donald Trump Lou Barletta Pennsylvania gubernatorial election Tom Wolf William Barr

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