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Wagner picks up local endorsement for governor

David Weissman
505-5431/@DispatchDavid

More than a year away from the 2018 gubernatorial election, Scott Wagner has picked up his first endorsement among his colleagues in the state Senate.

Mike Regan speaks during a watch party at Nick's 114 Cafe in New Cumberland after winning the Pennsylvania primary election Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Sen. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, officially announced his endorsement of Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, in a news release Tuesday.

Wagner is one of two Republican candidates to publicly announce a run for governor — the other being western Pennsylvania businessman Paul Mango — while incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf is currently unopposed among Democrats.

John Oliver pokes fun at Wagner on 'Last Week Tonight'

"After evaluating the field of current and potential Republican nominees, I have come to the conclusion that Scott Wagner is the candidate who can beat Tom Wolf and reverse the trajectory of our commonwealth," Regan said in the release.

State Sen. Scott Wagner. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Regan is serving his first term as a state senator after serving two terms as a state representative in the district now represented by Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-Franklin Township.

Regan emerged victorious from a crowded Republican primary field that included former NFL player Jon Ritchie last April before handily defeating Democratic challenger Joshua Bosha in November to earn the Senate seat.

Campaign finance reports show Wagner contributed $10,000 to Regan's campaign a couple of weeks before the primary election.

Regan said in his release that he believes Wagner's business-like approach to governance "will reignite Pennsylvania's struggling economy."

"The commonwealth needs a chief executive who can deliver high-impact leadership without losing sight of the big picture," Regan said. "Scott Wagner is the right candidate to lead our state moving forward."