PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than two dozen Allegheny County elected officials and Democratic Party leaders endorsed Tom Wolf for governor on Saturday afternoon.
It was an unusual and early display of unity.
Led by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Mayor Bill Peduto, Congressman Mike Doyle, legislators and council members embraced Wolf as their candidate.
“He gets where this state needs to go,” said Peduto, “that if we’re going to be able to become a global leader once again, we have to understand where 21st century infrastructure is needed.”
Officials touted Wolf’s success at bringing a struggling business back to life, investing in American jobs and workers.
“At the end of the day,” said Doyle, “when they counted up the company profits, he shared those profits — 20, 30 percent — with his workers.”
“We need someone that makes a difference, someone with a track record of getting it done,” added Pa. Rep. Ed Gainey, of Lincoln-Lemington.
Wolf said he was humbled by all the local support.
“I’m new to this,” Wolf told KDKA political editor Jon Delano, “but I’ve watched politics my whole life and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
And the candidate said it reflects this area’s desire for something new in Harrisburg.
“Right now people are looking for something different. They’re looking for something better, and what these folks are showing here in the western part of the state is that democracy actually works,” he said.
Fitzgerald hopes strong support for Wolf will yield dividends for this region if he’s elected.
“I think Tom wants to have a special relationship with western Pennsylvania. He sees what we’re doing here,” Fitzgerald said.
In a hotly contested primary with lots of qualified candidates, there’s no doubt this was an impressive showing for Tom Wolf.
But the larger question is — can these elected officials deliver the vote on May 20?
Wolf is betting that they will.
Local endorsements for Wolf on Saturday included: U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, Fmr. U.S. Rep. Ron Klink, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Pa. Sens. Jim Ferlo, Jim Brewster, Wayne Fontana, and Matt Smith; Pa. Reps. Ed Gainey, Marc Gergely, Bill Kortz, and Jake Wheatley; Allegheny Co. Council members Mike Finnerty, Bob Macey, and Chuck Martoni and John Palmiere; and City Council members Deb Gross, Corey O’Connor and Daniel Lavelle.
Besides Wolf, six other candidates are running for the Democratic nomination for governor: John Hanger, Jo Ellen Litz, Katie McGinty, Rob McCord, Allyson Schwartz and Jack Wagner.