|Governor of Pennsylvania|
|2011 - Present|
|Years in position||4|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|Pennsylvania Attorney General|
|1995-1997, 2004 - 2010|
|Bachelor's||Lebanon Valley College|
|J.D.||St. Mary's University School (1975)|
|Service/branch||Captain, Pennsylvania Army National Guard|
|Years of service||1971-1984|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Governor of Pennsylvania 2011-present
- 2.2 Approval ratings
- 2.3 Issues
- 2.4 Sandusky Scandal
- 2.5 Forced pooling
- 2.6 Attorney General of Pennsylvania 2005-2011
- 2.7 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")
- 2.8 Illegal immigration
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Elections
- 5 Campaign donors
- 6 Contact Information
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Corbett has a bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College, and a law degree from St. Mary's University School in San Antonio, Texas. He served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division from 1971 to 1984. During that time, he was able to achieve the rank of captain. Shortly after graduating from law school in 1975, he worked as an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Corbett was chosen in 1980 to act as an assistant to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, a role he maintained for three years.
After returning to Pennsylvania and private practice, he entered the state's political stage for the first time, winning the election for township commissioner in Shaler Township, Pennsylvania. His skills and experience within the legal profession were recognized nationally when President George H. W. Bush appointed him United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1988; he remained there until midway through Bill Clinton's first year in office.
Following his resignation, he again returned to private practice in Pennsylvania, while simultaneously serving as an advisor to Tom Ridge's successful 1994 gubernatorial campaign. In the wake of Ridge's victory, Corbett worked on a number of state commissions, including the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Deliquency where he served as chairman. When he was appointed by ridge to fill the vacancy of state Attorney General left behind by the scandal-plagued Ernest Preate in 1995, he was required by the State Senate Democrats to sign a pledge that said he would not run for re-election the next year, a common practice in the state of Pennsylvania for appointments to elected offices.
Leaving office in 1997, he returned to the private sector by starting his own practice, Thomas Corbett and Associates, one he kept in operation until 2004. That same year he served as the general counsel for Waste Management.. Corbett's professional background also includes teaching civics and history in Pine Grove Area High School in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
- Bachelor's degree, Lebanon Valley College
- Juris Doctorate degree, St. Mary's University Law School (1975)
Governor of Pennsylvania 2011-present
Corbett was elected the 46th governor of Pennsylvania in the November 2, 2010 general election. He was sworn into office on January 18th, 2011.
Although Corbett is not up for election until 2014, several polls were conducted in the months leading up to the 2012 general election to gauge the people of Pennsylvania's opinion of their governor. The thousands of likely Pennsylvania voters who were surveyed between mid to late September reported an average 32% approval rating, while approximately 45% of respondents disapprove of the job he is doing.
|Approval Rating of Governor Tom Corbett|
|Poll||Approve||Disapprove||Don't Know or NA||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Muhlenberg College PA Poll|
(September 10-16, 2012)
|Quinnipiac University Poll|
(September 18-24, 2012)
|Franklin and Marshall Poll|
(September 18-23, 2012)
|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|
Corbett voiced his support for the privatization of the 61 state liquor stores before he assumed his position as Governor of Pennsylvania. He joined State House Republicans, including the new Majority Leader, Mike Turzai. 
When Corbett left the attorney general's office in 2011, he appointed Linda Kelly (R) to serve as his replacement for the remainder of his term, ending in January 2013. When Kelly was sworn in on May 24, 2011, she assumed leadership of the state's high profile investigation into former Penn State football coach and eventual convicted sex-offender Jerry Sandusky's, who was charged with 45 counts of sexual abuse committed between 1994 and 2009.
Originating during Corbett's rein as attorney general in late 2009, the case's disturbing revelations about Sandusky reverberated far beyond the boundaries of Penn State's campus, inciting an onslaught of emotional pleas to the state to deliver swift justice, so to begin the healing process. Despite the mounting pressure from the public and press to advance the investigation to trial as quickly as possible, the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, which oversaw the case, proceeded with caution instead of urgency. The case spent two years in controversial gestation under Corbett - and then Kelly - before charges were brought against Sandusky in Novemeber, 2011. After a fraught stage of suspended grief, Sandusky's victims and betrayed fans got the pace they wanted, with the case going from grand jury presentment to trial in a short seven months.
On June 22, 2012, a jury convicted Sandusky of 45 out of the 48 counts of sex abuse for which he was indicted, including 25 felonies and 20 misdemeanors. After the verdict was delivered, Kelly said was confident Sandusky received a fair trial, notwithstanding the hurried pace of the proceedings, and the defense's request for a mistrial following the prosecution's exposure of an erroneously incriminating interview Sandusky did with Bob Costas - "The commonwealth expects to prevail on any appeal, and as far as the timing, the judge made it clear from the beginning to all the parties that he intended to move this case along quickly," Kelly said on CNN. Defense Attorney Joe Amendola tried to withdraw from the case on account of the trial's unusually expeditious time-frame. Echoing Kelly's defense of the trial's sprint to conclusion, and the dismissed mistrial, Corbett said that he expected these issues to manifest in future appeals, but ultimately, the jury's decision was tipped by the "compelling testimony of these now young men who were young boys who suffered at the hands of this pedophile.” Despite Corbett's repeated assurances that the attorney general's office did everything properly in handling the case, suspicions remained about his performance overseeing the case as attorney general, and his continued involvement as governor. Whether or not the handing of the case should be reviewed further was a dominant issue in the 2012 attorney general race. Both major party candidates, David Freed (R) and Kathleen Kane (D), say they would review the office's, and Corbett's, performance leading the Sandusky investigation if elected.
On the day Corbett took the oath of office as governor, critics gathered on the front steps. They were opposing the threat of forced natural gas pooling laws, which they claim will be on the agenda in the new legislative session.Gene Stilp, a local political activist who organized Tuesday's protest, said the legalization of forced pooling would be a violation of constitutionally guaranteed property rights.
"Sure, they'll give you something for it, some kind of monetary compensation, but the idea here is that it is a diminution of our constitutional rights to property," said Stilp. "It lays open the property rights of all Pennsylvanians." Stilp equated forced pooling to "subterranean eminent domain." Range Resources is one of the largest gas companies operating in Pennsylvania and one of the companies people like Stilp are protesting. Matt Pitzarella, spokesperson for Range Resources, said the pooling can benefit property owners by allowing for more efficient extraction of gas.
"The reason why we want it is for the sake of consistency, so we can maximize the amount of gas that we can drain, which means more money for the people who own the property and leased it to us," said Pitzarella. "We can plan farther in advance with the wells we will need to drill and the pipelines we will need to lay."
House Republicans spokesperson Steve Miskin said the forced pooling bill was only one of many issues relating to natural gas drilling which lawmakers will address in the coming months.
Attorney General of Pennsylvania 2005-2011
Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")
In December of 2012, Corbett decided against establishing a Pennsylvania-specific health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. He explained that the Obama administration had not satisfactorily addressed various operational questions and concerns Pennsylvania officials had posed with respect to the state-based option. Along with Republican governors such as Chris Christie (NJ), Bob McDonnell (VA), and Bill Haslam (TN), Corbett's primary concern was about the potential cost of independent implementation, and whether the federal government would respect the autonomy state's ostensibly earn as an extension of that financial independence. Although he has not officially ceded all other provisional options for states unwilling to participate in the federal health care exchange, which is an online marketplace for citizens to purchase health insurance, Corbett and state lawmakers were unable to agree on an alternative by the December 14, 2012 deadline. Thus, Pennsylvania will enter the federal program by default. Pennsylvania is one of thirty-two states to opt out of a state-based program.
In the wake of the historic passage of President Barack Obama's health care reform legislation on Christmas Eve in 2009, Corbett was one of ten Republican Attorneys General questioning not only the constitutionality of a specific controversial provision within the Senate version of the bill, but also exploring potential legal challenges to the measure as well. The stipulation in question was the back room deal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck with Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to recruit him as the 60th vote needed to pass the measure, an arrangement "dubbed the "Nebraska Compromise" or the "Cornhusker Kickback" by GOP critics." The agreement gives Nebraska exemption from its share of the Medicaid expansion, "a carve out that is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years." Corbett tweeted that he was "analyzing [the] constitutionality of [the] "Nebraska Compromise" in health care bill." 
On the same morning President Barack Obama signed into law his controversial health care reform bill, the one that narrowly passed the United States House of Representatives just two days before, Corbett and twelve other Attorneys General, all but one being Republican, filed suit against "the federal government to stop the massive health care overhaul, claiming it's unconstitutional."  His office, however, "did not detail the specific legal grounds he might cite in arguing against the legislation." 
Nearly two weeks after the United States Justice Department filed suit against the state of Arizona over its anti-illegal immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 - The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070), contending that it "interferes with federal immigration responsibilities," Corbett joined eight other Republican state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of the measure.  The Pennsylvania Attorney General argued that the "the lawsuit filed by the federal government in this case undermines the constitutional authority of all our states."  This opinion, however, is at odds with the current governor, who contends it is the sole authority of the federal government to handle responsibility for this issue.
Civil rights complaint
In August 2008, Thomas D. Kimmet, a former deputy in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and a ten year veteran of the Department of Revenue, filed a federal civil rights complaint in United States Middle District Court alleging that the state's top law enforcer, Tom Corbett, had violated his constitutional rights. Furthermore, Kimmet accused Corbett and his lieutenants of preventing him from "correcting inefficiencies in the Office of Attorney General's (OAG) Financial Enforcement Section (FES)," the state's last resort in collect debts and back taxes, that may be costing taxpayers millions of dollars per year.   The suit now stands before District Court Judge John Jones, a longtime Republican who had been speculated at one time of being a gubernatorial candidate; attorneys for Mr. Kimmet, however, are requesting a jury trial.
Six hours of deposition testimony shows that State Attorney General Tom Corbett depends upon his senior staff to relay information to him and that he believes in a "military style chain-of-command management."  Additionally, he denied having any memory of there being significant problems related to the FES and acknowledged that in signing Mr. Kimmet's walking papers in November 2008, he did not see if he had asked for a review of his dismissal.
Kimmet charged that the FES was making "fraudulent payouts for services that were unearned or earned improperly by private collection agencies" and that "many debts collected by state agencies were improperly credited to private vendors."   However, when he made attempts to correct these issues, he encountered harsh resistance from his superiors and even members of his immediate staff. He said that Corbett refused to follow up on his investigation into the alteration of FES records in order "to avoid public disclosure of possible criminal misconduct and fraud."  The OAG vigorously denied all of these charges. As to the former deputy attorney general's dismissal, the OAG alleged that Mr. Kimmet was a poor manager who routinely acted aggressively toward staff, rejected proposed compromises, and, most importantly, "failed to discharge his responsibilities on a costly and critical technology project." 
Corbett plans to run for re-election as governor in 2014, saying in November 2012 that he "has no plans to break" the tradition of Pennsylvania governors serving two terms.
Corbett announced his candidacy for the Republican party nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania on September 15, 2009.  A Quinnipiac poll taken in December 2009 indicated that he leads United States Representative Jim Gerlach for the Republican nomination with 38 percent favoring his candidacy. Furthermore, the polling data suggested that were the gubernatorial election to be held today Corbett would easily beat the three top-polling Democrats in head-to-head match-ups. 
- 2010 General Election
- Corbett and his runningmate Jim Cawley earned 54.5% of the vote in the general election on November 2, 2010, defeating Democrats Dan Onorato and runningmate Scott Conklin.
|Governor of Pennsylvania, 2010|
- 2010 Republican Primary
- Corbett won the Republican nomination for governor on May 18, 2010 with 68.7% of the vote over opponent Samuel Rohrer.
|Governor of Pennsylvania, 2010|
|2008 Race for Attorney General - General Election |
|Tom Corbett (R)||52.4%|
|John M. Morganelli (D)||45.7%|
|Marakay J. Rogers (Green)||1.9%|
|2004 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary |
|Tom Corbett (R)||52.8%|
|Bruce Castor (R)||47.2%|
|2004 Race for Attorney General - General Election |
|Tom Corbett (R)||50.4%|
|Jim Eisenhower (D)||48.4%|
|Marakay J. Rogers (Green)||1.3%|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Tom Corbett's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Tom Corbett's Campaign Contributions|
Governor of Pennsylvania
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$25,310,387||$1,154,610|
|Top 5 contributors||Republican Governors Association||$6,000,967||Republican State Leadership Committee||$691,550|
|Pennsylvania Republican Party||$2,095,333||John M. Templeton, Jr.||$128,000|
|Friends of Tom Corbett||$763,500||Pennsylvania Future Fund||$111,500|
|Vahan Gureghian||$325,714||John S. Middleton||$100,000|
|John Templeton, Jr.||$283,500||John G. Rangos, Sr.||$85,000|
Corbett currently resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan Manbeck, though their family home is in Shaler Township. The couple has two children - Tom, a video game producer, and Katherine, a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, as well as one grandchild.
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Harrisburg, PA 17120
- Official Governor of Pennsylvania Website
- Official Pennsylvania Attorney General website
- Tom Corbett's Facebook profile
- Tom Corbett's Twitter account
- Tom Corbett for Governor Campaign website
- Project Vote Smart - Tom Corbett biography
- Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, "Governor Tom Corbett," accessed September 28, 2012
- Capitol blogs, "Corbett approvals stay in the basement in new F&M, Quinnipiac polls," September 26, 2012
- CNN, "Pennsylvania, Wyoming governors endorse Romney," April 17, 2012
- Pennsylvania Independent "Privatization of State Liquor Stores Could Yield $2 Billion" 11 Nov. 2010
- The Jakarta Post, "Lawyer: Penn St. coach still says he's not guilty," June 26, 2012
- The Examiner, "Will Sandusy verdict put Pennsylvania governor Corbett on trial?," June 24, 2012
- Reuters, "Pennsylvania attorney general says Sandusky got fair trial," June 25, 2012
- The Washington Post, "Defense lawyer: Ex-Penn St. assistant Sandusky wants ‘people to know that he’s not guilty’," June 25, 2012
- "Gas Drilling Critics Say Corbett Will Endanger Property Rights With Forced Pooling," Pennsylvania Independent, JANUARY 4, 2011
- The Associated Press, "New Jersey Gov. Christie vetoes state-run health exchange bill," December 6, 2012
- The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
- Politico "GOP AGs may sue over health bill" 24 Dec. 2009
- Associated Press "13 attorneys general sue over health care overhaul" 23 March, 2010
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Corbett pits Pa. against health plan" 23 March, 2010
- FOX News "Justice Department Files Suit Against Arizona Immigration Law" 6 July, 2010
- The Philadelphia Inquirer "Pennsylvania joins brief in support of Arizona immigration law" 15 July, 2010
- Pennsylvania Independent ""Whistleblower" Suit Allows Peek into AG's Office" 16 April, 2010
- The Philadelphia Inquirer "Two lawsuits allege Corbett has mismanaged Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office" 21 June, 2010
- Pennsylvania Independent "Civil Rights Complaint Alleges AG Staff Balked" 19 April, 2010
- Pennsylvania Independent "What is a Whistleblower?" 20 April, 2010
- Allentown Morning Call, "Corbett: No plans to end 'tradition' of Pa. governors serving two terms," November 12, 2012
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Corbett announces he will run for governor in 2010" 15 Sept. 2009
- Philly.com "Poll finds Attorney General Tom Corbett holds wide lead in governor's race" 17 Dec. 2009
- Pennsylvania Department of State, "2010 General Election Results," accessed September 28, 2012
- Pennsylvania Department of State, "2010 General Primary Official Results," accessed September 28, 2012
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2008 Republican Primary Election Results
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2008 General Election Results
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2004 Republican Primary Election Results
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2004 General Election Results
- Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
- Project Vote Smart, "Tom Corbett biography," accessed September 28, 2012
|Pennsylvania Attorney General
| Succeeded by|
|Pennsylvania Attorney General
| Succeeded by|
|Governor of Pennsylvania
| Succeeded by|