EXCLUSIVE: Wolf Talks Election, Budget In First TV Interview Since Win

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Governor-elect Tom Wolf was in Pittsburgh this evening to support Rich Fitzgerald’s bid for re-election as county executive.

But the incoming governor took time before the event to sit down with KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.

It was his first TV interview here since the election.

The governor-elect is clear why he won.

“I think people are looking for something different,” he said.

But he acknowledges what many believe.

Delano: “Do you ever think it was more a vote against Tom Corbett than for Tom Wolf?”

Wolf: “I think it was.”

The first businessman elected governor in more than 40 years says voters voted for change.

“I got the sense in talking to voters that there is a hunger for change,” he said. “I think people want to believe in their government.”

And that, says Wolf, means being honest about the commonwealth’s fiscal state – a likely deficit of $2 billion.

Delano: “Will taxes be going up in your first term?”

Wolf: “I’ve already said that I want to impose a Marcellus shale tax.”

That was a clear campaign pledge, but what about the state income tax?

Delano: “Do you expect the rate, the flat tax rate, to go up to balance the budget this year?”

Wolf: “don’t expect to balance the budget on the back of any increased tax, and I’ve said this many times, in my business I raised revenues. I didn’t raise revenues by raising prices.”

Instead, says Wolf, he will raise revenues by using business skills.

“We need to balance our revenues and our expenditures, and part of that lies in a more intelligent approach to how we spend money in Pennsylvania,” he said. “I know that sounds like a very conservative thing to say but it’s something that anybody in business understands.”

It’s obvious that Governor Wolf is not the typical politician that we’re so used to in Harrisburg, but he’s absolutely convinced that he can use his business skills to make Pennsylvania government much more effective.

Only time will tell.

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