Western Pa. state Rep. Ortitay looking into Pa. governor’s run

    State Rep. Jason Ortitay in fall 2019. (Pa. House photo)

    Another name has entered the “Pennsylvania 2022” chat.

    State Rep. Jason Ortitay, R-Washington, told the Capital-Star on Thursday he was “considering the possibility of running” for governor, either 2022 or “sometime in the future.”

    Ortitay, a 36-year-old cheesecake entrepreneur, was first elected as a state representative in 2014, defeating a Democratic incumbent in a district that includes parts of suburban Pittsburgh and more rural Washington County.

    Oritay has taken conservative stances on such issues as gun rights, been an advocate on mental health issues, and occasionally critiqued former GOP President Donald Trump on Twitter.

    His campaign has secured the domain name “ortitayforgovernor.com,” according to CA Target Book, a political data gathering website.

    Sitting Gov. Tom Wolf will be term limited out of office next year, leaving a wide open race — particularly for Republicans.

    There is at least one other declared candidate — Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale

    Other potential GOP candidates include state Sen. Doug Mastriano, of Franklin County, U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, 9th District, former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, of Luzerne County, former Philadelphia insurance executive Daniel Hilferty, former House Majority Leader Dave Reed of Indiana County, and former Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, of Bucks County.

    Democrats, meanwhile, appear settled around Attorney General Josh Shapiro as their likely candidate for 2022. Many big names in Democratic politics, such as Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, have instead focused on the open U.S. Senate race in 2022. 

    Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has said he plans to retire from politics, including forgoing a gubernatorial run.

    Toomey’s exit kick-starts 2022 guesswork among Pa. politicos