George Scott to announce plans as DePasquale rumors swirl
Former Democratic U.S. House candidate George Scott on Friday will announce his political intentions amid rumors that state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is running against Rep. Scott Perry in 2020.
When reached Thursday, Scott — who challenged the Republican Perry as a political newcomer last year and lost by less than three percentage points — said he will be putting out a news release in regards to running for Congress.
"(The release) will identify my future course of action," Scott said, declining to elaborate on whether the release will announce another bid for the 10th District seat.
DePasquale has been briefing Democrats about his plans to announce a challenge to Perry in July, The Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing two anonymous Democratic Party sources.
Yet neither the state Democrats nor the York County Democrats or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — the U.S. House Democratic campaign arm — would speak his name this week when asked about DePasquale's potential bid.
"We’re very confident that Democrats will have a strong candidate in the 10th District this election who will defeat Perry and make Congress work for Pennsylvania families," said Mike Gwin, regional spokesman for the DCCC.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party echoed the DCCC's comments, and Chad Baker, chairman of the Democratic Party of York County, didn't respond to multiple requests for comment.
The Auditor General's Office directed The York Dispatch to the AP story for its comment, which included DePasquale declining to discuss it, saying only that he will talk about it soon.
Although neither Scott nor DePasquale has formally announced a candidacy, DePasquale's rumored run in particular has excited Democrats and flooded Pennsylvanian media.
There's a good reason for that, said G. Terry Madonna, the director of Franklin and Marshall College's Center for Politics and Public Affairs.
"Overall, just look for a hotly contest race," Madonna said. "There isn't any doubt Perry's going to face a very stiff challenge. It's probably going to be one of the most-watched congressional races across the country."
DePasquale is probably the "highest-profile auditor general in history," Madonna said, with the Democrat consistently hitting all three counties in the district for audit news conferences.
That high profile means DePasquale shouldn't have an issue fundraising, and he definitely won't have trouble winning over Democrats — he's already well-established in the party, having also served as a state lawmaker.
Observers have said that with those qualities, the auditor general has a better chance of ousting Perry, a four-term Republican from Carroll Township who is a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Last year, Scott lost a competitive race in the district that oversees northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County.
Scott received a boost from the DCCC after being named to its "Red to Blue list," a list of top-tier candidates to whom the organization offers organizational and fundraising support throughout their campaigns.
Democrats will see the same benefits as last year because of new congressional lines that are friendlier to Democrats.
The Supreme Court implemented the new map in February 2018 after declaring the previous gerrymandered districts unconstitutional. New district maps generally favored Democrats throughout Pennsylvania.
DePasquale first hinted at a run against Perry then, but he never followed through.
Dauphin County, where Scott resides, will also be a major player in 2020, as it's getting more progressive and comprises the largest portion of the 10th District, Madonna said.
Scott, a pastor who had never run for office before the 10th District race, won the county of 275,000 people over with 54% of the vote last year. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won over then-candidate Donald Trump by three percentage points in 2016.
Perry's campaign didn't respond to multiple inquiries for comment.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.