Tom Wolf (politician)

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Tom Wolf
Governor Tom Wolf official portrait 2015.jpg
47th Governor of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 20, 2015
Lieutenant Michael Stack
Preceded by Tom Corbett
Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania
In office
April 25, 2007 – November 30, 2008
Governor Ed Rendell
Preceded by Gregory Fajt
Succeeded by Stephen Stetler
Personal details
Born Thomas Westerman Wolf
(1948-11-17) November 17, 1948 (age 69)
Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frances Donnelly (m. 1975)
Children 2
Residence Mount Wolf
Education Dartmouth College (BA)
University of London (MPhil)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
Signature
Website Government website

Thomas Westerman Wolf[1] (born November 17, 1948) is an American businessman and politician who is the 47th and current Governor of Pennsylvania, since taking office on January 20, 2015. A Democrat, he defeated Republican incumbent Tom Corbett in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Previously, Wolf served as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from April 2007 until November 2008 and as an executive in his family-owned business.

Early life and education

Wolf was born on November 17, 1948, in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, the son of Cornelia Rohlman (née Westerman) and William Trout "Bill" Wolf, a business executive.[2][3][4] Wolf was raised in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, which was named after his ancestor, the town's postmaster.[5] He was raised Methodist[6] but is now affiliated with the Episcopal Church.[7]

Wolf's wife, Frances

Wolf graduated from The Hill School, a boarding school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in 1967.[8] He went on to receive an A.B. in government,[9] magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1972, an M.Phil. from the University of London in 1978, and a Ph.D. in political science[10] from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.[11] While a student at Dartmouth, Wolf joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in India.[12][13][14] After earning his Ph.D., his dissertation on the U.S. House of Representatives was named the best of 1981 by the American Political Science Association.[15] Wolf turned down an opportunity to interview for a tenure-track faculty position at Harvard University to begin his career at The Wolf Organization as manager of a True Value store owned by the company.[15] He met his wife, Frances, at school and married her in 1975. They have two adult daughters.[16]

Business and early political career

After graduating, Wolf returned to York to work for his family's building materials company, the Wolf Organization Inc., as a forklift operator. He purchased the company in 1985 with two partners. During the administration of Governor Robert P. Casey, Wolf served on an economic development board and on the Pennsylvania Legislative Commission on Urban Schools.[17]

After selling his company to a private equity firm in 2006, Wolf was nominated in January 2007 by then-Governor Ed Rendell to be the Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania. He served in that position on Rendell's cabinet from his April 2007 confirmation by the Pennsylvania State Senate until resigning in November 2008.[10][11][13] He had planned to run for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2010 election, but ultimately did not in order to repurchase the Wolf Organization, which was facing bankruptcy.[10][13][17] Wolf continued to serve as an executive in The Wolf Organization until his election as governor. He served as chairman and chief executive officer until stepping down from the latter position in December 2013 to focus on his gubernatorial campaign[18] and from the board altogether in December 2014 following his election.[19]

Wolf serves as chair of the York County United Way, the York County Community Foundation, the York College board of trustees, and as chairman of the York County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been active in the York Jewish Community Center, the Memorial Hospital of York, and a regional public television system.[20]

Governor of Pennsylvania

2014 election

On April 2, 2013, Wolf announced his candidacy for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2014 election. He pledged $10 million of his personal wealth toward the primary election, with an intent to raise at least $5 million from supporters throughout the state. He was the third person to announce candidacy, following John Hanger of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Max Meyers, a minister from Cumberland County, but at least four others were expected to join the race.[21]

By March 2014, several polls suggested Wolf was the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination following an extensive television campaign as well as field operative Brendan Murray's effort in traditionally Republican central Pennsylvania.[22][23][24] A Franklin & Marshall College poll conducted in late February 2014 showed Wolf with a 27-point lead over his nearest competitor, Allyson Schwartz,[25] and a Harper poll showed him leading Schwartz by 26 percentage points,[26] as did an additional Franklin & Marshall poll in late March 2014.[27]

In late April and early May, Wolf faced attacks from fellow candidate Rob McCord over his association with controversial former York, Pennsylvania, mayor Charlie Robertson.[28] Allyson Schwartz also accused Wolf's campaign of plagiarizing his "Fresh Start" plan from an energy equipment company.[29] Despite the attacks, a Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll suggested Wolf continued to lead with 38% to Allyson Schwartz's 13% and Rob McCord's 11%.[30]

Wolf takes the oath of office as Governor on January 20, 2015

In the May 20 primary, Wolf defeated Schwartz, McCord, and Katie McGinty, to win the Democratic nomination for governor. As such, he faced incumbent Governor Tom Corbett in the November general election.[31] Heading into the final two months of the campaign, a number of polls indicated a varying but consistent advantage for Wolf over Corbett. Although Corbett slightly narrowed the deficit as the election approached, Wolf maintained a persistent lead in the race.[32][33][34][35] On November 4, Wolf was elected Governor with 54.9% of the vote.[36][37] He was the first challenger to oust a sitting governor since governors became eligible for immediate reelection in 1968.

Tenure

Governor Wolf as he signs an executive order to ban fracking in state parks on January 29, 2015 while others look on

Wolf assumed office as the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania upon the expiration of Tom Corbett's term on January 20, 2015, with the inaugural ceremony occurring in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg.[38] Upon taking office, Wolf opted not to move into the Pennsylvania Governor's Residence, instead commuting from his home in York; however, a spokesman for Wolf indicated that the residence would still be used for official events and other functions.[39] Shortly after being sworn in, Wolf signed two executive orders banning gifts to state employees and requiring a bidding process for outside legal contracts.[40] Wolf also restored a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", in state parks[41] and placed a moratorium on the death penalty within Pennsylvania.[42]

Wolf proposed the first budget of his tenure in March 2015, which includes an increase in education spending, reductions in property taxes and the corporate tax, and a new severance tax on natural gas.[43] Six months into his tenure, in July 2015, Wolf was named by the websites OnTheIssues and InsideGov as the most liberal incumbent governor in the United States based on a rating of public statements and press releases among other measures; Wolf rejected this assessment, arguing that his policies are directed by practicality rather than ideology.[44][45]

On July 1, 2015, Wolf vetoed a budget submitted to him by the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania General Assembly, ensuring a budget dispute between the governor's office and the legislature during Wolf's first year in office. This marked the first time a Pennsylvania Governor vetoed a budget bill in its entirety since Milton Shapp did so in 1976.[46] Wolf argued the budget was not balanced, disputing a claim by Republicans that the budget would provide increased funding in certain areas without raising taxes.[47][48] A point of dispute in the budget process was the proposed privatization of Pennsylvania's wine and liquor sales, which Wolf opposes.[49] The state operated without a full budget for 267 days—the longest period without a full budget in Pennsylvania history–until the 2015-16 budget became law without Wolf's signature in March 2016.[50][51]

In January 2016, Wolf announced the launch of the "It's On Us PA" campaign which aims to expand awareness of sexual assault in schools and on college campuses.[52] Wolf made the announcement at Elizabethtown College.[53] This announcement made Pennsylvania the first state to implement a statewide campaign that called for a collaboration of schools, law enforcement, victim services organizations, and other community members to promote awareness, education, and bystander intervention of sexual violence specifically on school campuses.[54] Several schools, including Franklin and Marshall College, Butler County Community College, as well as the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor Frank Brogan signed on to the initiative. On November 30, 2016, Wolf announced the awarding of "It's On Us PA" grants of one million dollars to thirty-six post-secondary schools in the state to combat sexual violence on their campuses. Programs considered for funding included but were not limited to those that enhanced awareness of available resources as well as the rights of students and, most importantly, to increase mechanisms for anonymous reporting.[55]

Governor Wolf has previously expressed his opposition to targeting countries with economic sanctions or boycotts stating "We ... will not encourage economic punishment in place of peaceful solutions to challenging conflicts."[56]

On February 24, 2016, Wolf announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was diagnosed early, so he stated that it would not hinder his ability to govern Pennsylvania.[57] Following treatment, Wolf's spokesperson announced in January 2017 that Wolf had been given a "clean bill of health" from his physician.[58]

Electoral history

Democratic gubernatorial primary results, 2014[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Wolf 488,917 57.86
Democratic Allyson Schwartz 149,027 17.64
Democratic Rob McCord 142,311 16.84
Democratic Kathleen McGinty 64,754 7.66
Total votes 845,009 100
Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2014[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Wolf 1,920,355 54.93
Republican Tom Corbett (Incumbent) 1,575,511 45.07
Total votes 3,495,866 100
Democratic gain from Republican

References

  1. ^ "Sen. Harris Wofford's Advisory Committee on Judicial and U.S. Attorney Nominations for the Middle District". Times Leader. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Tom Wolf Profile: Perfect Stranger". Philadelphia Magazine. 
  3. ^ "Notices". York Gazette and Daily. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Who's who in Finance and Industry. Marquis Who's Who. 1987. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas (12 May 2014). "Tom Wolf seeks to bring small-town ethos to gubernatorial race". Philly.com. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Esack, Steve (9 May 2014). "Tom Wolf runs as gentleman politician". The Morning Call. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  7. ^ McColgan, Flint (17 January 2015). "Tom Wolf's Inauguration Day activities begin in York and end in Hershey". Lebanon Daily News. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Hill alumnus Tom Wolf '67 elected Pennsylvania Governor". The Hill School. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  9. ^ O'Toole, James (12 October 2014). "As Tom Wolf seeks the Pennsylvania governor's office, political life comes full circle". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c O'Toole, James (13 March 2014). "York's Wolf spending own fortune in his bid for governor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "About Us – Thomas W. Wolf, Secretary". www.revenue.state.pa.us. Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. 
  12. ^ "2014 Election Watch". Committee of Seventy. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c Sidhu, Sonia (17 September 2013). "Penn Dems to host Pa. gov candidate Tom Wolf". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (23 January 2015). "Pennsylvania's Governor Breaks Through a G.O.P. Tide". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Klein, Julia M. "The Unlikely Governor". Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  16. ^ "Meet Tom Wolf". Tom Wolf for Governor. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Tom Wolf says he won't run for governor". York Daily Record. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Levy, Marc (5 March 2014). "Company gives info in Democrat's race for Pa. gov". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Field, Nick (7 November 2014). "PA-Gov Round-Up: The End". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Thomas W. Wolf". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  21. ^ Gibson, Keegan (2 April 2013). "Wolf Declares for Gov, Pledges $10 Mil to Campaign". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  22. ^ http://www.wolfforpa.com/sections/blog/brendan-murray-transitions-from-volunteer-to-field-organizer
  23. ^ O'Toole, James (6 March 2014). "Pittsburgh-area leaders expected to back Tom Wolf". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Smith, Vincent J. (8 March 2014). "PA-Gov: Pittsburgh Politicos Back Wolf". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Franklin & Marshall College Poll" (PDF). Franklin & Marshall College. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Pennsylvania Democratic Primary Poll". Harper Polling. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  27. ^ Durantine, Pete. "FM Poll: Wolf Holds Lead in Democratic Primary". Franklin & Marshall College. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  28. ^ Foster, Brittany (2 May 2014). "PA-Gov: McCord Releases Chilling Negative Ad Against Wolf". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  29. ^ Foster, Brittany (24 April 2014). "PA-Gov: Schwartz Accuses Wolf of Plagiarizing "Fresh Start" Plan". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  30. ^ "Poll: Wolf maintains lead in Democratic governor race". The Morning Call. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  31. ^ Foster, Brittany (20 May 2014). "PA-Gov: Wolf Wins Democratic Nomination". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  32. ^ "National Poll Report" (PDF). Robert Morris University Polling Institute. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  33. ^ "Franklin & Marshall College Poll" (PDF). Franklin & Marshall College. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  34. ^ "Pennsylvania Statewide Poll September 2–3, 2014". Harper Polling. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "Pennsylvania Governor Poll October 26–27, 2014". Harper Polling. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  36. ^ Lavender, Paige (4 November 2014). "Pennsylvania Governor Election Results: Tom Wolf Defeats Incumbent Tom Corbett". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  37. ^ "NBC News Projects: PA's Corbett Ousted by Democrat Tom Wolf". NBC News. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  38. ^ Jackson, Peter (20 January 2015). "WOLF TO TAKE AS PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR; STACK SWORN IN AS LT. GOVERNOR". Associated Press. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  39. ^ McKelvey, Wallace (9 December 2014). "Governor's Residence to remain open, even as Tom Wolf plans commute to Harrisburg". Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  40. ^ McKelvey, Wallace (20 January 2015). "Wolf's first actions include gift ban, required bidding on legal contracts". Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  41. ^ Finley, Ben (31 January 2015). "Wolf restores fracking ban in state parkland". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  42. ^ Slobodzian, Joseph (13 February 2015). "Wolf halts death penalty in Pa". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  43. ^ Kanuch, Nathan (11 March 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Presents Budget Legislation". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  44. ^ Field, Nick (31 July 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Rated Most Liberal Governor in U.S". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  45. ^ Hardison, Lizzy (11 August 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Rejects "Most Liberal" Ranking". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  46. ^ Alexandersen, Christian (30 June 2015). "Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes Republican budget proposal. Now what?". The Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  47. ^ Field, Nick (1 July 2015). "PA-BGT: Wolf Vetoes Budget". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  48. ^ Alexandersen, Christian (27 June 2015). "Pa. House passes GOP-created budget proposal to the dismay of Democrats". The Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  49. ^ Langley, Karen (2 July 2015). "Wolf vetoes GOP liquor privatization bill for Pennsylvania". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  50. ^ Addy, Jason (21 January 2016). "Wolf: Year One". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  51. ^ Addy, Jason (23 March 2016). "PA-BGT: PA Gets a Budget". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  52. ^ Printz v. United States
  53. ^ http://www.fox29.com/news/local-news/83350124-story
  54. ^ Garcia, Deanna. "Pennsylvania Implements National 'It's On Us' Sexual Assault Initiative". Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  55. ^ "Wolf Administration Awards First-ever 'It's On Us PA' Grants to Combat Campus Sexual Assault | GantNews.com". gantdaily.com. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  56. ^ "Governor Wolf Signs Bill Prohibiting State from Contracting with Businesses that Boycott Israel". 
  57. ^ "Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania governor, diagnosed with prostate cancer". CNN. Retrieved 2016-02-25. 
  58. ^ McKelvey, Wallace (25 January 2017). "Gov. Tom Wolf wins cancer fight, gets 'clean bill of health'". Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  59. ^ "2014 General Primary – Governor". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  60. ^ "2014 General Election". Elections Information. Pennsylvania Department of State. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 

External links

  • Governor Tom Wolf — Official government site
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dan Onorato
Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
2014
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Corbett
Governor of Pennsylvania
2015–present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Carney
as Governor of Delaware
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Chris Christie
as Governor of New Jersey
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