And for those of you following this race, it's no surprise. But for those of you just following this race, here's a little info:Businessman Tom Wolf won the Democratic nomination for governor in Pennsylvania Tuesday, easily besting three other candidates including Rep. Allyson Schwartz.
Wolf will now advance to a November showdown against Gov. Tom Corbett (R), regarded by many observers as the most vulnerable governor up for reelection. Corbett is struggling in the polls.
The Associated Press called the race for Wolf with just 14 percent of precincts reporting. Wolf had 55 percent, leading Schwartz (23 percent), state Treasurer Rob McCord (15 percent) and former state environmental secretary Katie McGinty (7 percent). - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/20/14
And we also have our Lt. Governor candidate, State Senator Mike Stack (D. PA) from Philadelphia:His victory over a strong field of Democratic competitors with more extensive political resumes sets the stage for an election that will test the unbroken Pennsylvania tradition of rewarding incumbent governors with a second term. Mr. Corbett, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination, continues his re-election drive in the face of daunting poll numbers that fuel the conventional wisdom that he is the most endangered occupant of any governor’s mansion in the country.
Mr. Corbett fits a traditional mold for his party. Like every Republican governor elected in the last 50 years, he is a former prosecutor from Western Pennsylvania.
Mr. Wolf presents a more novel political profile. In a party dominated by the state’s two major urban centers, he hails from the GOP bastion of York County, a fact that didn’t hinder his dominance over three fellow Democrats from the Philadelphia suburbs. He coupled spending $10 million of his own money and raising another $4 million with the biography and business background he portrayed in a series of widely praised commercials, allowing him to build the big lead with Democratic voters that remained unchallenged through his rivals’ tardier, less robust advertising campaigns.
Mr. Wolf has boasted of how, after serving in the Peace Corps and earning a Ph.D. from MIT, he bought and expanded a family business, sold it before serving as secretary of revenue in the Rendell administration, then stepped in again to rescue it after it foundered in the Great Recession. The Corbett campaign offers a competing narrative, contending that the firm needed to be rescued because of Mr. Wolf’s actions in allowing it to borrow money to purchase his share of its ownership.
Those competing versions of the business record are sure to be revisited throughout the coming months of the campaign.
Polls and even some of his allies suggest that Mr. Corbett starts the fall campaign as the underdog. In an interview with the Harrisburg Patriot-News last week, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, decried Republican defeatism.
“Everywhere I go, county party dinners, they all say, ‘He can’t win,’” Mr. Kelly said. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/20/14
And here's one reason why you should also be excited about Stack as the Lt. Governor nominee:State Sen. Mike Stack of Philadelphia is the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania.
Stack's victory in Tuesday's primary means he will be the running mate of millionaire businessman Tom Wolf, who has been chosen by voters to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the fall.
Stack defeated former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz of Johnstown, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, state Rep. Brandon Neuman of Washington County and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith. - AP, 5/20/14
And here's some more good news from today:A pair of state Senators have introduced a bill which would raise Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $12 an hour.
The proposal -- by senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) -- would also make it illegal for businesses to pay workers who receive tips less than minimum wage. Currently, tip earners can be paid a minimum of $2.83 an hour.
"The tipped minimum wage hasn't changed in 23 years and allows business owners to take advantage of low-wage, disproportionately female workers even demanding they do un-tipped work like dish washing and cleaning bathrooms for $2.83 an hour," Leah said in a statement.
The bill would also index the minimum wage to inflation, which occurs in 11 other states. The senators said the changes would create 1 million new jobs in Pennsylvania.
For what it's worth, Leach is running for Congress and Stack is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
Their proposal comes a week after a report found that an American worker would need, on average, to earn $18.91 to afford a two-bedroom apartment. In the Harrisburg-Carlisle metro area, the study found workers need to earn $16.25 an hour -- more than double the minimum wage -- to afford a two-bedroom apartment while spending no more than the recommended 30 percent of their income on rent. - PennLive, 4/1/14
Corbett, who is against marriage equality and compared same-sex marriage to incest, has yet to respond to this ruling and we shall see if he dares try to appeal it making himself looking even more out of touch with Pennsylvanians.Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday in a decision that legalizes same-sex marriage throughout the Northeast. Pennsylvania's Attorney General Kathleen Kane says she won't appeal.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters — courageous. "We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history," Jones wrote of the 1996 state ban.
Kane released a statement in support of Jones' ruling:
"Inequality in any form is unacceptable and it has never stood the test of time. I have remained steadfast in my decision not to defend Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act because I made a legal determination as to the unconstitutionality of this law. I am pleased that a learned legal mind such as Judge Jones ruled similarly." - AP, 5/20/14
With the primary over, the race can officially begin:
With Corbett fighting for his life and has a big war chest, get ready for this race to get ugly. But we have great candidates and regardless of who you voted for in the primary, Democrats are ready to take down Corbett:So is Wolf ready to be governor and can convince voters that he is?
Jim Broussard, a political scientist at Lebanon Valley College, is not going to make any predictions but he thinks it should be a pretty exciting race to watch.
“Wolf doesn’t have the kind of experience as the other Democrats had but he built a strong brand. He should be able to handle the debate,” he said.
McClellan said he is unsure what the future holds for Wolf and Corbett but gives the advantage to the Democrat.
“He doesn’t seem like the kind of candidate who will alienate moderates or Republicans,” he said. “He is less political, more pro-business and his message of economic growth is going to resonate with a lot of voters.”
And McClellan expects Democrats will unite behind Wolf despite a hostile primary that pitted political insiders against a virtually unknown candidate.
A win in November, he said, will come down to the ground support he gets in metropolitan areas. If voters are motivated to go to the polls the numbers will be in Wolf’s favor.Corbett will have his own issues to work out before Election Day.
“He’s caught in a dilemma: He wants to spend more on education and transportation but the more he moves to the center the more he runs the risk of upsetting the conservative base,” McClellan said.
Only 23 percent of voters surveyed in a Franklin & Marshall College poll from February said Corbett has performed well enough to stay in office — falling far behind where his predecessors Ed Rendell and Tom Ridge polled at similar points in their first terms.
With approval ratings that more than doubled Corbett’s numbers, both lawmakers went on to win a second term. In fact, every sitting governor has been elected to four more years since Pennsylvania allowed governors to seek reelection in 1970.
Broussard said Corbett will see his approval ratings rise as his campaign team continues to turn its focus to highlighting his accomplishments.
He said the polls will take a different tone once it’s a race and not a referendum. It will no longer be about why Corbett deserves a second term but about why his challenger doesn’t deserve one at all. - Lancaster Online, 5/20/14
As Markos always says, "when our base comes out and votes, we win." This is our race to win and to take Pennsylvania back and move it forward. We can't take anything for granted now and I'm calling on all Pennsylvania Democrats to unite behind the Wolf/Stack ticket. Knowing that Corbett is in serious trouble, he will run a dirty campaign. He'll do anything to get re-elected so we need to be ready for re-election. Comcast, Marcellus-Shale and the Koch Brothers have a lot of money riding on Corbett so lets give Wolf and Stack head start. Click here to donate and get involved with their campaigns:Chris Anderson was one of the early voters, and the 68-year-old city resident said he votes every time.
"In my family, you went to college, you voted. It's just a given," he said.
On Tuesday morning he was deciding between Katie McGinty and Tom Wolf, and ultimately went with the candidate from York County.
But Wolf didn't get his vote because he's local.
"I think he has the best shot in the general election, and I don't want anymore (Gov. Tom) Corbett," Anderson said.
He said he doesn't like Corbett's education policy or his light touch with oil and gas companies drilling in the state.
"He should've taxed the fracking companies. They're not hard up for money. Pennsylvania is," Anderson said.
Myrna Henninger, a 51-year-old West York resident, also thinks Wolf has the best chance at beating Corbett in November.
"I don't usually vote in primary elections, but I came out today to show my support for Mr. Wolf. I like that he has run a nice campaign. I think he's an intelligent man and would be good for Pennsylvania," she said. - York Dispatch, 5/20/14