HARRISBURG — Noontime choirs have been a Christmas staple at the Capitol and a group filled the Rotunda with carols Wednesday afternoon.
They followed an ensemble of senators, all Democrats, who sang the praises of a former caucus member.
“There’s nobody who’s been a stronger advocate for Democratic ideals than Lt. Gov. Mike Stack,” minority leader Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, said during an endorsement rally.
“Mike Stack has not only served but has excelled,” said Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia.
“He has earned the support, I believe, of each and every Democrat in Pennsylvania and especially in this building,” said Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia.
About a dozen senators crooned from the same songbook.
“We are here to stand with Mike Stack and we need the governor to stand with Mike Stack,” said Sen. Andrew Dinniman, D-Chester.
Gov. Tom Wolf did give his number two an early Christmas gift. He announced Tuesday that he would not make public an Inspector General’s report that details abusive behavior by Stack and his wife toward state employees. Wolf said removing those employees from the Stacks’s control and the publicity that followed was punishment enough. The governor said that he didn’t want to pile on, especially since Tonya Stack went into treatment.
Did Stack see the Inspector General’s report?
“I haven’t seen any final report, and I just think it’s a private family matter, a private family health issue,” Stack said, adding that he’s grateful to the governor.
Stack also insists his relationship with Wolf, once considered rocky at best, is now strong and he’s ready to be a strong runningmate next year.
“I come from a base that’s very important, in Philadelphia, but I’m popular in other areas of the state, and as a ticket and as a team we can accomplish great things,” Stack said of the 2018 election.
But several Democrats see Stack as vulnerable and have jumped in the race to unseat him. Philadelphia political heavyweight and former Gov. Ed Rendell endorsed Braddock Mayor John Fetterman for lieutenant governor.
Was that a painful slight to a Philly guy like Stack?
“I don’t give that much thought or concern,” Stack said with a smile, adding that he has endorsements from all across the state and in Philadelphia.
The primary is May 15.