HARRISBURG, Pa. - Gov. Ed Rendell extended Tuesday's deadline for political candidates to qualify for Pennsylvania's April 22 primary, citing concerns about wintry weather, but the major statewide candidates had already filed their paperwork.
Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois filed petitions to compete for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Rep. Ron Paul filed for the Republican primary.
Among candidates for the three state row offices, the only intraparty competition appeared to be a four-way contest for the Democratic nomination for the state treasurer's seat that will be open next year.
Rendell extended the deadline, which applies to candidates for Congress and the state Legislature as well as party offices, from 5 p.m. Tuesday until noon Thursday, citing traffic problems caused by winter weather across the state. Rendell's executive order did not extend the deadline for candidates to collect petition signatures.
"I moved the date until Thursday because the weather forecast (Wednesday) could also cause problems," Rendell said in a statement.
Millions of dollars have been raised already in the Democratic race for treasurer, according to campaign finance reports through Dec. 31.
Montgomery County businessman Rob McCord reported having more than $3 million on hand and more than $1 million in unpaid debts. Bucks County lawyer John Cordisco, a former state legislator, had $598,000 on hand and $385,000 in debt. State Rep. Jennifer Mann of Lehigh County, who announced her candidacy last week, had less than $1,000 in her legislative campaign fund. Dennis Morrison-Wesley of Harrisburg, who describes himself as an investment adviser who is currently working as a cable television salesman, also filed a petition.
The only Republican to file for the treasurer's post was Tom Ellis, a Montgomery County bond lawyer.
Filing for attorney general were incumbent Republican Tom Corbett, who had $759,000 on hand at the end of 2007, and Democrat John Morganelli, the Northampton County district attorney, who had $417,000.
Vying for nominations for auditor general are incumbent Democrat Jack Wagner, who carried over $417,000 from 2007, and Republican Chet Beiler, a Lancaster County businessman who reported raising $29,000.