Tomorrow, the three Republican candidates for governor will share the stage for a debate.  This debate coming three weeks ahead of the May primary election in a race that has become contentious.

On Wednesday night, the three Republican candidates vying to take on Governor Tom Wolf in November will square off in a debate in Lancaster.  The race between State Senator Scott Wagner, who has the endorsement of the state GOP, Paul Mango, and Laura Ellsworth.

The campaign so far a nasty one, with one commercial stating, “Sleazy bail bondsman Wagner released a child predator from jail who abused again.”

Jim Lee with Susquehanna Polling and Research says, “The ads, in all likelihood, are creating more volatility among the Republican electorate, and more uncertainty who the right choice is to take on Tom Wolf”.

Right now, the race seems to be between Wagner and Mango, with no clear frontrunner.  But, Lee did say, “Negative campaigning tends to drive up turnout.” 

Republican Strategist Christopher Nicholas, with Eagle Consulting Group, says even though “The candidate who is least known is Laura Ellsworth,” all three candidates are going to have a prime opportunity in Wednesday’s debate.

Nicholas tells us, “Those who do vote in primaries, they tend to be more active in politics. So, they want to see the debate, they want to read about it the day after. So, they’re kind of gathering their facts, even though they haven’t made up their minds.”

He expects everything from agriculture to unemployment to come up in the debate, but one of the main subjects he’s keeping an eye out for is how Mango and Wagner react to one another after a rough campaign season.  “If the two gentlemen go after each other in person, like they have been on TV, it’s going to make for a very interesting debate.”

That debate will air tomorrow night at seven.

–Matt Heckel, JET 24 Action News