Tom Wolf

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Tom Wolf
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Candidate for
Governor of Pennsylvania
Bachelor'sDartmouth College (1972)
Master'sUniversity of London (1978)
Ph.D.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1981)
Campaign website
Tom Wolf is a York businessman, and is the 2014 Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania.[1]


A businessman, Wolf serves as CEO and chairman of the Wolf Organization, a distributor of kitchen and bath cabinetry and supplier of building materials. Wolf has spent two years in India with the Peace Corps, worked at a hardware store, and was a truck driver. He served as state revenue secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell from February 2007 through November 2008.


  • Bachelor's degree, Dartmouth College, 1972
  • Master's degree, University of London, 1978
  • PhD, political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981

Wolf's doctoral dissertation is titled Congressional Sea Change: Conflict and Organizational Accommodation in the House of Representatives 1878-1921. It focuses on the dynamics of change in Congress during that period of time.
Wolf has stated, "We have a tradition in this country to take institutions back, to reassert control. ... I learned in my dissertation that change actually happens."[2][3]

On The Issues Vote Match

Tom Wolf's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Wolf is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Wolf received a score of 54 percent on social issues and 36 percent on economic issues.[4]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[5]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Unknown Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Unknown Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Unknown Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Unknown
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Unknown
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated: June 25, 2014.[4]



See also: State executive official elections, 2014

Wolf is running for election to the office of Governor of Pennsylvania. Wolf won the Democratic nomination in the primary election, which was held in May 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.[1]


Wolf defeated three opponents to win the primary.

Governor of Pennsylvania, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Allyson Schwartz 17.6% 149,027
Green check mark transparent.pngTom Wolf 57.9% 488,917
Kate McGinty 7.7% 64,754
Rob McCord 16.8% 142,311
Total Votes 845,009
Election Results Via:Pennsylvania Department of State Official Election Results.

Race background

There are 36 states holding regularly scheduled gubernatorial elections in 2014 and there are 5-10 seats considered most likely to face partisan switch, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett among them. He was moved into to the top slot on the Washington Post's "endangered" list, after having been in third place during the prior rating cycle.[6][7][8] Corbett's upgraded vulnerability status comes to bear on the heels of his failure to enact any of his three tent-pole policy initiatives during recently concluded spring legislative session. The timing also corresponded to a further swell of Democratic candidates entering the 2014 governor's race.

By the summer of 2013, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Governing had all rated Republican incumbent Tom Corbett as one of the most vulnerable governors facing re-election in 2014.[9] Their reports reflect the Republican governor's increasingly weak position heading into the 2014 election season, when his abysmal job approval ratings will finally be put to the test by state Democrats, fired-up for an ousting after years under a Republican trifecta.[10]

Early polling and candidates

A July 2013 survey taken by Harper Polling showed that just under a quarter of state residents thought Corbett deserves to be elected again in 2014.[11] Those results backed up earlier polling figures released by Quinnipiac University, which had him at 38 percent job approval and substantially behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in a hypothetical general election match up.[12] The Quinnipiac poll showed Schwartz beating Corbett by a whopping 10 points. These were even better numbers than had been revealed in a similar survey conducted previously by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican-aligned firm.[13]

Back in April 2013, Schwartz was already looking especially threatening due to Corbett's dismal popularity among female respondents, 54-27 percent of whom expressed opposition to Corbett’s re-election, a margin of 2 to 1.[14]

Several Democratic hopefuls - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, Hanger's predecessor Kate McGinty, Cumberland County minister Max Myers, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, York businessman Tom Wolf and State Treasurer Rob McCord - formally launched 2014 campaigns for governor. Three other potential Democratic candidates were mentioned in connection with the race: State rep. H. Scott Conklin, former state auditor and state senator Jack Wagner and county commission chairman Josh Shapiro.[15][16][17][18]

Republican primary

Two Republicans have also been mentioned as potential primary opponents of Governor Corbett: former radio announcer Tom Lineaweaver and conservative activist Bob Guzzardi.[19][20] Guzzardi filed for the Republican primary and initially survived a challenge to his campaign's signatures after the Republican Party of Pennsylvania tried to get him disqualified.[21] However, on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Guzzardi was ordered stricken from the ballot on a technicality. The majority on the court found that Guzzardi had failed to "meet a deadline for filing a statement of financial interests" with the State Ethics Commission and his campaign filing therefore "possessed a 'fatal defect.'"[22] Two justices dissented, citing the lower court's finding that Guzzardi had filed the proper forms with the Pennsylvania Department of State and had been told by an employee there that he did not need to also file with the State Ethics Board.[22][23]

I agree with the Commonwealth Court that what occurred here was a breakdown in the administrative process. To strike this candidate's name from the ballot is akin to denying candidates their right to appear on the ballot under circumstances where there was some accident or natural disaster preventing candidates from entering the filing office.[24]

—Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, In Re: Nom. Pet. of Robert Guzzardi Dissenting Statement

Democratic primary

See also: Pennsylvania Gubernatorial election, 2014#Primary election results

Businessman Tom Wolf took the Democratic primary by storm, spending on early campaign ads and taking an early lead that proved unsurpassed by the other candidates. This was an upset for early favorite Allyson Schwartz, who finished a distant second.

Third party candidates

Green Party candidate Paul Glover and Libertarian Party candidate Ken Krawchuk failed to get on to the November general election ballot after failing to collect the 17,000 required signatures.[25] Referencing the perceived lack of options on the ballot that this produced, Republican-turned-Independent Tom Lineaweaver declared a write-in campaign.[26] Lineaweaver had previously been considered a possible Republican primary challenger to Corbett.

General election polling

Pennsylvania Governor's Race - Corbett vs. Wolf, Polling to August 2014
Poll Tom Corbett (R) Tom Wolf (D)Other/Undecided/Won't voteMargin of ErrorSample Size
December 11-16, 2013
Gravis Marketing
January 28, 2014
February 19-24, 2014
May 27-28, 2014
Public Policy Polling
May 30 - June 1, 2014
Franklin & Marshall
June 23-29, 2014
CBS News/NYT/YouGov
July 5-24, 2014
Magellan Strategies
July 30-31, 2014
Franklin & Marshall
August 18-25, 2014
August 18 - September 2, 2014
AVERAGES 33% 49.1% 17.1% +/-3.05 1,471.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
Pennsylvania Governor's Race - Corbett vs. Wolf, Polling from September 2014
Poll Tom Corbett (R) Tom Wolf (D)Other/Undecided/Won't voteMargin of ErrorSample Size
Harper Polling
September 2-3, 2014
September 3-8, 2014
AVERAGES 38% 55.5% 6.5% +/-3.05 913
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


Minimum wage

In December 2013, in response to Governor Tom Corbett's opposition to a state minimum wage increase, Wolf responded with his support for the wage increase and criticized Corbett's position. "I believe we need to raise the minimum wage to help Pennsylvania’s workers and strengthen the economy,” Wolf said in a written statement. "It is clear that Tom Corbett does not have a real plan to get our economy back on track."[27]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Tom Wolf + Governor + Pennsylvania

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Tom Wolf News Feed

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See also

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  1. 1.0 1.1 The Associated Press, "AP: Ex-revenue chief Tom Wolf running for Pa. gov," April 2, 2013
  2., Does Tom Wolf have the right stuff? August 27, 2013
  3. Pittsburgh Post Gazette, "York's Wolf spending own fortune in his bid for governor," January 2, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 On The Issues, "Tom Wolf Vote Match," accessed June 25, 2014
  5. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  6. University of Virginia Center for Politics: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," April 29, 2013
  7. The Washington Post, "The Fix's top 15 gubernatorial races," March 22, 2013
  8. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 12, 2012
  9. The New York Times, "Which Governors Are Most Vulnerable in 2014?," April 8, 2013
  10. The Washington Post, "Tom Corbett is the most endangered governor in the country," July 12, 2013
  11. Harper Polling, "Pennsylvania Poll: State Budget & Corbett Re-election," July 1-2, 2013
  12. Quinnipiac University, "Schwartz, Best-Known Of Unknown Dems, Tops Corbett, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Girl Next Door Clinton Tops Native Son Santorum In 2016," June 7, 2013
  13. Public Opinion Strategies via the Philadelphia City Paper "Pennsylvania Statewide/Philadelphia Suburbs Poll," April 30-May 2, 2013
  15. Philadelphia Inquirer, "State Treasurer Rob McCord launches PAC for governors race," July 11, 2013
  16. PoliticsPA, "Exclusive: McGinty to Launch Guv Exploratory Committee," March 18, 2013
  17. The Associated Press, "AP: Ex-revenue chief Tom Wolf running for Pa. gov," April 2, 2013
  18. Lebanon Daily News, "Litz to announce run for governor July 2," June 18, 2013
  19. Facebook, "Tom Lineaweaver for Governor of PA," accessed September 2, 2013
  20. The Republic, "Conservative activist Bob Guzzardi says he aims to challenge Corbett in Pa. GOP primary," Decamber 31, 2013
  21. TribLive, "Judge says Corbett primary challenger can stay on ballot, appeal planned," April 16, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 PennLive, "Pa. Supreme Court ousts Guzzardi from GOP ballot in governor's race," May 1, 2014
  23. PennLive, "Corbett challenger Robert Guzzardi will stay on Republican primary ballot," April 15, 2014
  24. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  25. Lewistown Sentinel, "Third-party hopefuls abandon bids for Pa. governor," August 1, 2014
  26. Son of David Forums: Write In The Right Tom, "Why I Want To Be Governor," accessed August 8, 2014
  27., "Corbett: No plans to raise minimum wage in PA," accessed December 24, 2013