ERIE, Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania State Senator Dan Laughlin announced Friday that he is forming a working group to explore a run for governor of Pennsylvania.
Last year, the Erie Republican returned to office with nearly 60% of the vote in a predominantly Democratic district.
“If Republicans are to restore commonsense conservatism to the governor’s office, they need to a candidate capable of reaching across party lines with an agenda focused on practical solutions and fiscal sanity,” Laughlin said in a release.
A self-described center-right conservative, Laughlin was first elected in an upset victory over a one-term incumbent. He then fended off a challenge in what became the state’s single most expensive legislative race of 2020.
During his first term of office, Laughlin secured additional yearly funding that prevented the closure of Erie City’s high schools. He became an advocate for outdoor enthusiasts by passing legislation to phase out prohibitions against Sunday hunting.
Laughlin has advocated for a higher minimum wage pegged to inflation, an end to criminal prohibitions against marijuana and advocated for economic development programs targeted at economically distressed communities.
He has been calling for the state’s economy to reopen and an end to the current administration’s “secretive practice of government by emergency decree.”
“Leaders like Bill Scranton and Dick Thornburgh showed us that Pennsylvanians are less concerned about strident ideology than about policies that work for people,” Laughlin said. “My conservatism guides me, but I’m less interested in fighting the culture wars than fixing the roads and building an economy for our children.”