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May 15, 2014

Jobs, education top goals for Wolf

2 Valley commissioners back York gov candidate

— WILLIAMSPORT — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf stood beside nine county commissioners Wednesday and explained why he was running for the top job in the state.

“To steal a quote from the Army,” said the 65-year-old York County businessman and former state revenue secretary, “Pennsylvania ‘needs to be all it can be.’ Pennsylvania deserves a brighter future.”

Wolf in Williamsport met with nine county commissioners, including Northumberland County’s Vinny Clausi and Montour County’s Trevor Finn.

“I am extremely happy to support Tom Wolf,” Clausi said. “I spoke with this man before people starting showing up today, and he is just a good, honest guy, and I believe we will have an open line to the governor’s office for our residents in the county.”

Finn agreed.

“I have two younger daughters, and I am selfish to say this, but I want them to stay in the area and in Pennsylvania,” Finn said.

“I am supporting Tom Wolf because I believe he will be the best bet for the future of my children because this man is smart and knows how to create jobs.”

Wolf maintains a 19-point lead over his closest competitor in the Democratic race, according to survey results released Wednesday by Franklin & Marshall College.

That survey showed Wolf was favored by 33 percent of Democratic voters, which is unchanged from a March query by the same pollster.

If Wolf were to win the Democratic nomination and win again in November, Republican Tom Corbett would become the first incumbent Pennsylvania governor who ran but failed to capture a second term since 1854.

Corbett is running unopposed for his party’s nomination.

Wolf spoke to commissioners and then to the general public, which began to gather to hear him speak.

Wolf said he is focusing on three things: Education, jobs and making Pennsylvania better.

“We got to get education right,” Wolf said. “We have a constitutional mandate to do this. We have the means to do this and we must do this.”

Creating jobs, Wolf said, is something he knows all about.

“It’s what I do,” Wolf said.

He has been chairman of The Wolf Organization Inc., from 1985-2006 and from 2009 to the present. The privately held company, founded by his family in 1843, makes kitchen cabinets and is a building materials distributor.

Wolf said in two separate campaign ads on TV that his company shares 20 to 30 percent of its profits with employees under a five-year-old policy.

A Wolf Organization spreadsheet shown to the AP showed the company made slightly more than $6 million in profits in 2013 and set aside nearly $1.26 million in pre-tax profit sharing, or about 21 percent. The company in 2012 made slightly more than $2.1 million and distributed $427,412 — or 20 percent — in pre-tax profit sharing, according to the spreadsheet.

Wolf also said he is not paying attention to what pollsters or politicians are saying because he is out talking with Pennsylvanians.

“I am traveling from picnic to picnic and city to city,” Wolf said.

“I want to listen to what people are saying and getting a feeling for what they want and are hoping for.

“I never ran for office before but I feel Pennsylvania deserves to be the best it can be.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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