HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Pennsylvania Democrats on Tuesday tapped millionaire businessman Tom Wolf as their nominee to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett after Wolf dug deep into his own pocket to finance months of folksy TV ads that catapulted him to the top of a four-way race.
Returns from nearly 70 percent of the state’s precincts showed Wolf with 58 percent of the vote, ahead of U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state environmental protection secretary Katie McGinty.
“We have a big job between now and Nov. 4,” Wolf said addressing his supporters at his headquarters in York, Pa. “And that is to make sure that we deliver on the promise that the democratic voters have put on our shoulders. And that is to take the message for a better future for Pennsylvania to all the voters in Pennsylvania and make sure, make sure that we do what we can to deliver on that promise.”
Wolf’s primary victory comes after a months-long courtship of voters. His seemingly unending series of TV ads featured his Jeep Wrangler and testimonials from his wife, his two grown daughters and employees of his kitchen cabinet company.
Voters said the folksy ads helped win them over. Wolf began them in the dead of winter after putting $10 million of his own money into the campaign.
His win sets up a race against a governor who has struggled with low approval ratings. Every Pennsylvania governor since 1970 has been awarded a second term.
Gov. Tom Corbett spoke out against the Democratic primary candidates Tuesday night, promising to keep the government limited and more efficient.
“They’re all the same,” he said. “They want to raise taxes. I don’t. They want to return to the days of runaway spending and irresponsible budgets. I don’t. They want to go back to a time when we had a $4 billion defect. I don’t.”
Wolf also said that Tuesday’s ruling, allowing gay marriage in Pennsylvania was a good thing and asked Corbett not to file an appeal.
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