Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain, lagging in the latest polls, is hoping his plan to slash gas taxes will fuel a campaign surge.

At a gas station in Lower Merion last week, McSwain touted his plan to cut the state gas tax in half.

If he is elected governor, the former U.S. Attorney promised to permanently cut the state gasoline tax by 50 percent, saying that temporary solutions are not enough. He also promised to restore “fiscal responsibility” by cutting wasteful government spending and repealing unneeded regulations.

For too long, hard-working families across the commonwealth have had to grapple with uncontrolled government spending and a crippling gas tax,” said McSwain. “This is unacceptable. Why are we as a state punishing our own citizens who are working hard to support their families? As governor, I will permanently reduce the state gas tax by 50 percent and restore a business and family-friendly culture so that our economy can thrive.”

McSwain was introduced by local businessman Bill Heeney, owner of Instant Courier, Inc.

Heeney said, “Pennsylvania businesses have suffered under eight years of the intrusive and controlling policies of Tom Wolf. It’s time for a governor who will support and empower business owners, not stifle them. That governor will be Bill McSwain. Bill is a leader who will stand up in defense of working families and who will implement the pro-business and pro-energy policies necessary to get our economy back on track. There is no one better to lead our commonwealth into a new era of prosperity than Bill McSwain.”

He held a press conference last week to talk about his plan to reduce Pennsylvania’s highest in the country gas tax by 50 percent.

And Delaware Valley gas prices have reached an all-time high. An AAA report released Monday said Pennsylvania’s gas average is $4.50 and it is unchanged overnight and up 15 cents in the last week. And the five-county Philadelphia area gas average is $4.64 Monday, up a penny overnight and up 27 cents in the last week.

McSwain’s campaign faced headwinds after President Donald Trump issued a stinging denouncement last month. The former president is angry the then-U.S. Attorney did not do more to pursue claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

As of this writing, Trump has not endorsed a candidate among the nine Republicans running to be the gubernatorial nominee. Only Attorney General Josh Shapiro, an Abington native, is running on the Democratic side.

McSwain, however, did garner the endorsement of the prestigious Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs. Commonwealth Partners is a free-market advocacy group with a statewide reputation on the political right.

McSwain, 52, is a West Chester native. He graduated from Yale University in 1991, then spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer and commanded a platoon. After his service, McSwain attended Harvard Law School.

McSwain and his wife, Stephanie, have four children.

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