Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Election, 1982
The Pennsylvania gubernational election of 1982 was held on November 2, 1982 between incumbent Republican Dick Thornburgh and Democratic U.S. Congressman Allen E. Ertel. Thornburgh, who maintained high approval ratings during his first term, was initially considered a shoe-in for reelection, especially after the Democrat's top candidate, Philadelphia District Attorney (and future governor) Ed Rendell declined to seek the nomination. Ertel struggled early with fundraising and, because of his residence in heavily Republican Central Pennsylvania, lacked a base among the state's strongest Democratic constituents: urban voters and organized labor. However, as a serious recession hit the state, Ertel campaigned hard against the economic policies of President Ronald Reagan, whom Ertel blamed for failing to protect the state's manufacturing sector; Thornburgh was forced to distance himself from his party's executive, as support for Reaganomics waned.