PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Democrat Tom Wolf sent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett to a historic defeat, making him the first incumbent to lose in the four decades since Pennsylvania’s chief executive was allowed to seek re-election.
CBS News called the race just after the polls closed:
Wolf was elected Pennsylvania governor Tuesday after the businessman and first-time candidate spent $10 million of his own money on an early TV ad campaign that endeared him to voters and helped send unpopular Corbett to a historic defeat.
“I am so grateful to the voters of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said during his acceptance speech.
The Democrat spoke on state Tuesday night to election-night revelers at the Utz Arena in York, near Wolf’s hometown of Mount Wolf.
Wolf’s Acceptance Speech:
He says there’s a heavy responsibility on him now to get things done, and he says he wants to re-establish education as a priority in Pennsylvania and deliver on the promise.
He also says it’s important to boost job creation, take advantage of natural resources and create an open and inclusive playing field for everybody in business.
A tearful Corbett conceded to Wolf just before 10 p.m., thanking his supports for standing behind him over the years.
Watch Corbett’s Concession Speech (Pt. 1):
“Without a doubt, I have the best Governor’s Office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with the staff that I have,” Corbett said.
“Thank you all for participating in a wonderful four years,” he added.
He said he took office determined to do what he thought was right for the state, whether people liked it or not.
“Well, obviously they didn’t like it,” Corbett said at a downtown Pittsburgh hotel. “I said I might be a one-term governor, and I am, but I am proud of what we did.”
Corbett said he called Wolf to congratulate him and wish him well, and said when the history books are written in 10 or 15 years, his administration will be seen as one that brought back industry and transportation infrastructure, and making the state a leader in energy production.
Watch Corbett’s Concession Speech (Pt. 2):
When he takes office in January, Wolf will likely face a Republican-controlled Legislature and a yawning budget deficit as he tries to make good on a promise to dramatically increase the state government’s share of public school costs.
Corbett is the first governor to go down in defeat in the four decades since the state’s chief executive was allowed to run for a second term. The former two-term state attorney general could not overcome a rocky first term and struggled to sell his record as a fiscal and social conservative.
Wolf, 65, from the tiny town of Mount Wolf, named after an ancestor, will become the 47th governor of Pennsylvania and the first since Richard Thornburgh in 1979 never to have held elective office.
He led his family’s cabinetry and building materials distribution business in central Pennsylvania for much of the past three decades, becoming a pillar of York’s business, civic and philanthropic community.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also spoke about the election on the NewsRadio KDKA Afternoon News.
“Folks in your area know Tom Corbett very well; they have known him for his whole career, he is a fighter for the citizens of Pennsylvania, and I think he is going to do very well tonight,” Christie told the KDKA Afternoon News.