Former revenue secretary Wolf 'likely' to challenge Corbett
Former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf said Monday he wants to become the first candidate to break the two-term cycle that Pennsylvania governors have enjoyed since 1970 by ousting Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014.
“I will likely be running to seek the Democratic nomination for governor. I really want to run,” said Wolf, 63, a York County businessman who resigned in 2008 as head of the Revenue Department under then-Gov. Ed Rendell.
Wolf told the Tribune-Review he is exploring a run by talking with grassroots activists, establishment Democrats and even Rendell, whom he said “has been very supportive.”
Wolf, who owns Wolf Industries, a wholesaler of building supplies, said he wants to run because he thinks Corbett has no understanding of how to create jobs.
“We could do so much better, and I think I bring a unique inside-outside perspective of having run a business, created jobs and also worked in government,” he said. But he won't run if “something convinces me that that is a fool's errand.”
Rendell could not be reached for comment.
Corbett, of Shaler, could not be reached. His office said he plans to visit the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Moon on Tuesday to talk about his public safety budget.
Halfway through his term, some political strategists believe Corbett could be vulnerable.
A survey this month by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found 38 percent of registered voters approve of Corbett's performance.
Corbett's poll numbers plunged in Tuesday's Quinnipiac University poll, where the survey showed that registered voters do not think that the Republican governor has earned a second term; 51 percent said he does not deserve reelection, while 31 percent said the governor deserves a second term with 18 percent undecided. Only 49 percent of the Republicans surveyed said he deserves a second term.
The survey was conducted last Tuesday through Sunday among 1,221 registered Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
Yet Larry Ceisler, a Philadelphia-area Democratic strategist, isn't convinced that Corbett is as vulnerable as some people think.
“I think the real question is, can you beat an incumbent governor, none of whom has ever lost? That is a very hard hill to climb,” he said, citing campaign money as an obstacle. Corbett, said Ceisler, in recent weeks “is out there doing a better job of talking about what he has accomplished.”
Former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, a Democrat, has announced his intent to run. Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor, who lost a primary race to Corbett for attorney general in 2004, has said he might run in the Republican primary.
Jeff Brauer, a political science professor at Keystone College, said Corbett holds a major advantage because Pennsylvanians have re-elected incumbents since term limits on governor went in place.
But he noted that “Corbett has been demonized successfully by (critics) over budget priorities, cuts to education, voting rights and his support of natural gas drilling.” The most damaging attacks concerned Corbett's “duties as attorney general during the Sandusky child abuse investigation,” he said.
Harrisburg-based Republican strategist Brock McCleary said the governor faces a challenge to communicate “his record of success through the dense fog of Penn State and a sputtering national economy.”
Salena Zito is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 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.
- Pens again fail to mount comeback against Nashville
- Tennessee’s Peterman to enroll at Pitt in May
- Petrishen at ease with decision to play football at Penn State
- Snow, freezing rain, bitter cold coming to Western Pa.
- Pittsburgh Street in Cheswick to remain closed Monday
- Homemade hockey rink popular in Lower Burrell
- Penguins notebook: Pouliot heading west with team
- Tighter payday loan rules intended to shield debtors
- PSNK men’s basketball team loses 5th in a row
- Iraqi libraries ransacked
- Flash!: ‘Out of the Ark’ exhibit