Pennsylvania Capitol

Resigning Senate seat a no-win situation for Wagner

June 02, 2018 - 10:39 pm

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- Republican Scott Wagner has announced that he will give up his seat in the state Senate to focus on his campaign for governor.

The campaign of Democratic incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf pounced immediately upon Republican Scott Wagner’s resignation announcement, declaring that the move “confirms that [Wagner’s] only priority is his own political ambition.”

Franklin and Marshall College political analyst Terry Madonna says many reformers believe candidates should not hold one office while seeking another and that Wagner would likely be criticized if he did not resign.

“You’re leaving your seat, that’s the wrong thing to do,” he said. “Oh by the way, you’re staying in your seat during the course of the gubernatorial campaign -- that’s the wrong to do. So there isn’t any doubt that he would have faced severe criticism regardless of the decision.”

But Madonna says on the whole, there are more potential pitfalls for a candidate who seeks higher office while continuing to hold another.