In Greensburg campaign stop, gubernatorial candidate Wolf touts severance tax
The Democratic gubernatorial primary race came to Greensburg on Friday, and local party leaders said Westmoreland County has to be at the center of the state's political landscape if next week's nominee is to have a chance to oust Gov. Tom Corbett in November.
York County businessman Tom Wolf, the Democratic Party front-runner if recent polls are to be believed, addressed about 50 campaign supporters during a brief lunchtime appearance at the Westmoreland County Courthouse. Wolf then walked to a downtown coffee shop to talk with voters.
“From now on, we're going to get more attention,” said Westmoreland County Democratic Committee Chairman Dante Bertani. “It's good he's ahead in the polls, but the answer is to get people out to vote.”
Wolf — along with state Treasurer Rob McCord, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty — is vying for the opportunity to face Corbett in the fall.
Only Wolf has made an appearance this year in Westmoreland County, Bertani said.
He was endorsed by the county's Democratic committee.
The county, with its more than 120,000 registered Democrats, is considered a key in the governor's race. Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 30,000 registered voters, although the GOP has won Westmoreland County in most federal, state and county races in recent years.
During his brief stop in Greensburg, Wolf touted his proposal to impose a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas extraction. Of the 10 largest gas-producing states, Pennsylvania is the only one without such a tax.
“I'm getting reaction across the board from people who say, ‘Yeah, it's about time we get our fair share,' ” Wolf said. “There might be a few people who want a free ride, but I think this is something that actually is very attractive across the political spectrum.”
Wolf declined to make any commitments about the future of the shuttered state prison in Hempfield.
“My goal is to bring jobs back and create jobs. ... I'm thinking we can. Whenever anything closes and people lose jobs, it's a tragedy,” he said as he munched on a chocolate chip cookie after visiting with staff and customers at the White Rabbit Cafe.
Wolf's supporters said the candidate's business background pushes him above the other Democrats in the race.
“I like his message, said 18-year-old Ryan Faris, a soon-to-be graduate of Hempfield Area High School. “I like how he brings a business aspect to the Democratic Party.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Youngwood fire department reaches out to homeless family
- 11 Westmoreland inmates accused of setting fire put in solitary confinement
- Plenty of ‘pain’ to share, as Westmoreland County budget OK’d with $8M in cuts
- Catholic Diocese of Greensburg bestows $30K to combat poverty
- Hempfield leaders kill zoning request for townhomes
- Unity name excised from Latrobe parks, recreation
- Greensburg police Officer Scalzo commended for stopping suicide
- Shop With a Cop helps Westmoreland County children in ‘unfortunate circumstances’
- Ligonier man first in Pa. to own aluminum-body F-150
- Home of LeNature’s exec up for sale