Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf speaks in Greene County

August 10, 2014
Tom Wolf, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, speaks Sunday at the Jefferson fire hall. Seated are state Rep. Pam Snyder and state Sen. Tim Solobay. - Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

JEFFERSON – Tom Wolf, Democratic candidate for governor, made a campaign stop Sunday in Greene County where he told a fire hall full of Democratic supporters the coming election offers voters “a clear contrast between two competing visions of Pennsylvania.”

Speaking at a Democratic picnic sponsored by state Sen. Tim Solobay, D- Canonsburg, and state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson, Wolf said the Nov. 4 election between him and incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett will truly offer voters a choice.

“This is a referendum,” Wolf told the large gathering in the Jefferson fire hall. “Do we want the kind of Pennsylvania we have right now; do we want the kind of Pennsylvania with the direction we’re heading in?” he asked. The audience’s response was a loud “No.”

Wolf, a businessman from York County, gave a brief speech, not focusing on the specific issues of his campaign but on his ideas of a new direction for Pennsylvania.

“If you like the idea of somebody who is going to sit there and occupy a seat, I’m not your guy,” Wolf said.

“If you like hollowed-out schools, where our children are not going to get the education they deserve … if you think we ought to scrap that, again, we’re not going to go in the same direction,” he said.

“If you like a middle class that’s being destroyed, continue to vote with this governor. If you don’t, we have a contrast; we have two different visions,” Wolf said.

“I have a vision for the Pennsylvania I grew up in and I believe in and I want to see it be as great as it possibly can be,” Wolf said. “We have all the things that can make us great. There’s no excuse for mediocrity, there’s no excuse for a dismal future.”

Wolf’s platform includes calls for enacting a 5 percent extraction tax on natural gas to fund education and infrastructure, including infrastructure in communities impacted by gas drilling, and to develop clean energy alternatives, according to his campaign web site.

He also says he will restore Gov. Corbett’s education funding cuts and increase the state’s share of funding to local school districts. In addition, he proposes creating new rules and regulations on natural gas extraction to protect residents and the environment.

Wolf noted that an incumbent governor seeking a second term has not lost a re-election since the 1950s. He asked the audience to help him make history.

“I believe it’s incumbent on all of us to step up if we don’t like what’s going on and change it. That’s what I’m doing,” he said. “I hope you step up with me to move Pennsylvania forward to the place we need to be.”

Wolf was introduced by Solobay, who also spoke of the history in regard to an incumbent governor seeking re-election. “We have the opportunity and we’re going to make history this year,” Solobay said.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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