Mango meets Taylor, ward leaders in Torresdale

Republican governor candidate Paul Mango was in Philadelphia to seek support from ward leaders.

Mango

Paul Mango does not have the Republican Party of Pennsylvania endorsement for governor, but he was in Philadelphia last week seeking support from ward leaders.

State Rep. John Taylor gathered about 20 wards leaders for a morning meeting with Mango at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale. State Rep. Martina White was also in attendance.

Mango is a former healthcare consultant who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, receiving his diploma from President Ronald Reagan, but some in the GOP believe he has broken Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.

There’s a three-way race for the Republican nomination for governor. Mango and state Sen. Scott Wagner have been spending a lot of their own money, with much of it going to negative television commercials. Allegheny County lawyer Laura Ellsworth is also in the race.

Mango said Wagner went negative after doing poorly in a debate. A Wagner commercial accusing Mango of supporting Obamacare “couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he said. He also takes issue with a contention that his former company took a $2 million, no-bid contract from Gov. Tom Wolf.

“I’ve never met Tom Wolf,” he said.

Mango describes his commercials, which use unflattering cartoon caricatures of Wagner, as “contrast ads” that are “100 percent true.” He calls Wagner a “bully.”

“We punched him in the nose,” he said.

Mango, who has a campaign office in Blue Bell, is married with five daughters and lives in Allegheny County. His wife, Dawn, is a West Point graduate. His daughter, Hope, is in the Army.

“We’ve had great support from veterans,” he said. “I’m very eager to help out veterans and their families.”

Mango praises businesses for keeping jobs open for employees who are deployed. He’d address the problem of homeless veterans and offer aid to children of fallen vets.

If elected, he would help veterans transition from combat to everyday life by assisting them in job searches; having other veterans mentor them; waiving relicensing workforce requirements if they’ve received similar training in the military; and providing home modifications for veterans who’ve lost limbs.

The Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania has endorsed Mango, who supports adoption and loving foster homes as alternatives to abortion. He favors a bill that would lower the timeline for legal abortion from 24 weeks of pregnancy to 20. He also backs legislation that would prohibit abortions due to the diagnosis of Down syndrome, adding that a young man named Daniel, who has Down syndrome, introduces him at campaign rallies. He doesn’t want tax money going to Planned Parenthood, and would direct funding to the state’s 320 or so health clinics, which do not perform abortions.

Mango would work to end sanctuary cities, arguing it is dangerous to release criminal suspects and unfair to Americans and legal immigrants.

“I’m the grandson of a legal immigrant who came from Italy to Philadelphia,” he said.

On healthcare, Mango blames Obamacare for increasing premium and deductible costs and giving consumers fewer choices. He would customize healthcare for the needs of Pennsylvanians, like Mike Pence did for Indiana when he was governor.

In office, he would eliminate school property taxes and make up for the lost revenue by allowing counties to substitute a sales and/or income tax.

Candidates for governor run separately from those campaigning for lieutenant governor in the primary, though Mango is backing Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan for LG. ••