Montgomery Newspapers - The Globe - 11/23/2005 - Matthews interested in state position: "Matthews interested in state position
By: Margaret Gibbons, For The Globe
The name of Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews has again surfaced as a potential candidate for higher office.
County Republican Chairman Ken Davis this week said he and Matthews, 56, of Lower Gwynedd, recently discussed Matthews' potential as a GOP candidate for lieutenant governor in next year's elections.
"He is clearly intrigued and interested but has not made a final decision," said Davis, adding Matthews will have to make a decision within the next several weeks to be a viable candidate. "We will stand by him in whatever decision he makes."
The only other prospective GOP lieutenant governor candidate currently mentioned is state Sen. John Pippy of Allegheny-Washington counties.
In Pennsylvania, a gubernatorial candidate does not select a lieutenant governor candidate. Instead, candidates for each office run in independent elections in their party's primary election and then are paired as a team in the November general election.
To date, neither Matthews nor the county GOP have expressed a preference among the three GOP gubernatorial candidates, former Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton, former Pittsburgh Steeler and sports commentator Lynn Swann and state Sen. Jeff Piccola, who represents parts of Dauphin and York counties.
The Keystone Poll, conducted by Franklin and Marshall College, this week gave Scranton a slight edge over Swann, 27 percent to 24 percent, with Piccola trailing a distant third with 3 percent. However, 46 percent of the registered Republican voters contacted for the poll said they are undecided at this time.
Matthews, who heads a mortgage company, is serving his second four-year term as county commissioner. This is the second year of Matthews' reign as commissioners chairman.
Matthews could not be reached for comment this week.
Matthews' interest in running for lieutenant governor first surfaced earlier this month when, during a roundtable discussion on ABC Channel 6's "Inside Story," lawyer Gregg Melinson was preparing to take his prospective candidacy "on the road" throughout the state to determine the GOP's interest in him as a candidate.
Matthews has toyed in the past with the idea of running for higher office. He considered running for lieutenant governor four years ago and also weighed a possible bid for U.S. Congress. He never seriously pursued either of those two posts.
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