HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A gubernatorial candidate challenging pro
football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann in the Republican primary fired
his campaign manager after the man told a televised call-in show:
"The rich white guy in this campaign is Lynn Swann."
Bill Scranton, a former lieutenant governor who is white and
comes from a wealthy family, also issued an apology to Swann after
his campaign manager's comments Wednesday.
The remarks by James Seif "in no way whatsoever reflect my
views or those of my campaign," Scranton said. "I want to
apologize to Lynn Swann, his family, supporters and PCN viewers for
the offensive and disturbing comments made on my behalf."
Swann, a former Pittsburgh Steelers star, is seeking to become
Pennsylvania's first black governor.
His campaign spokeswoman, Melissa Walters, declined to comment
about the remarks Thursday morning.
Seif, who is white and previously served in Gov. Tom Ridge's
cabinet, made the comment while trying to portray Scranton as a
political outsider and Swann as the candidate favored by the GOP
Seif took no umbrage at being fired. Instead, he commended
Scranton for acting "quickly, decisively and correctly," and
added: "That's one of the reasons he'll be a great governor."
Swann campaign official Ray Zaborney also appeared on the show
and called Seif's comment "one of the most ridiculous and
insulting things I've ever heard in politics."
Swann was a wide receiver for the Steelers from 1974-1983, and
led his team to four Super Bowls. He spent several years as a
sports commentator for ABC, which along with ESPN is owned by Disney, and serves on the boards of the H.J.
Heinz Co., Wyndham International Inc., and Hershey Entertainment
Scranton was lieutenant governor for two terms under former Gov. Dick Thornburgh. Seif quit his job as a vice president of energy company PPL Corp. to lead Scranton's campaign.
The primary is May 16.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.