While efforts to privatize Pennsylvania’s 621 state liquor stores have circulated for years, some say the budgetary realities the state is facing could be the pressure that finally forces the issue.
But the success of such a push could depend on which candidate next occupies the governor’s office.
The candidates are split on the issue. Democratic nominee Dan Onorato supports the state-owned system.
“The current Wine and Spirits store system generates significant revenue for the state each and every year, and it keeps liquor out of the hands of minors,” said Brian Herman, an Onorato campaign spokesman. He said Onorato would be supportive, however, of further efforts to sell alcohol in large grocery stores.
Republican nominee Tom Corbett supports privatizing state assets to help address budget deficits, but the details of any liquor store privatization effort would have to be closely scrutinized, campaign spokesman Kevin Harley said.