Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kent Courtney with Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh

In 1978, Dick Thornburgh launched a campaign for governor of Pennsylvania. He won the primary over three other contenders, including Arlen Specter, who had become well-known as a former Democrat who switched parties and was elected the Philadelphia County district attorney in 1965 and the more conservative David W. Marston, a former U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, who was controversially dismissed in 1978 by the Jimmy Carter administration after Marston launched prosecution of two Democratic congressmen and two Democratic state legislators.

Despite a Democratic majority in the commonwealth, he and running mate William W. Scranton III defeated Pittsburgh mayor Pete Flaherty. The victory was attributed to Dick Thornburgh's campaign promises to crack down on government corruption, at a time when 230 state officials were convicted of corruption. Thornburgh and Scranton were reelected in 1982. However, Scranton failed to win the governorship on his own in 1986.

In what was likely the biggest event during his gubernatorial career, Dick Thornburgh oversaw emergency response efforts to the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg in 1979. To quell public fears, he ordered a partial evacuation of the area, and 140,000 people left the region during the crisis. He was also partly responsible for overseeing cleanup efforts

Kent Courtney
Multi-Media Solutions for World-Wide Brand Recognition
717-965-4946 Harrisburg, PA
347-560-9239 New York City

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