By Jon Delano

MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) – In front of a crowd of about sixty supporters in Murrysville, PA Sen. Scott Wagner of York County made it official.

“Governor Wolf is a failed governor. That’s why today I’m here officially announcing that I’m running for governor of Pennsylvania,” Wagner declared on Thursday.

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The conservative Republican is a first term senator who made millions in the garbage and waste management business before entering politics just a few years ago.

“I have seen firsthand how dysfunctional Harrisburg is and how out of control it is. When I went to Harrisburg in 2014, I knew it was going to be bad. I had no idea how really bad it is. It’s five times worse.”

Wagner says Wolf touts his business skills but hasn’t delivered.

“Instead of changing Harrisburg, for the last two years Governor Wolf has been the guardian of special interest groups in Harrisburg.”

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When Wagner sat down with KDKA political editor Jon Delano, he was asked about the frequent comparison of him to Donald Trump.

“He [Trump] is a visionary, clearly a visionary,” says Wagner.

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“One of his first hotel projects next to Madison Square Garden was a blighted hotel. He had a vision. So in that respect we are similar. But I grew up on a farm in York County. I’m in the waste business. I’m not in the New York real estate market. I’m not in that business.”

“But I think at the end of the day, we both want the same thing. We want what is best for our country, and I want what’s best for Pennsylvania.”

In Harrisburg, Wagner has opposed his Republican leadership when he thinks it’s too moderate or protective of the status quo, and he says Wolf, a Democrat, has cut deals by giving pay raises to public employee unions.

“Where’s Governor Wolf getting all his campaign money? Public sector unions. Okay, who did he just give a gift too? Public sector unions. This is the game Governor Wolf is playing.”

“Listen, I’m a taxpayer, and I’m a business owner, and I’m fed up with what I see.”

Scott Wagner won’t be the only Republican in this race.

Congressman Mike Kelly of Butler is giving it serious consideration, as is House Speaker Mike Turzai, state Senate majority leader Jake Corman, former Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, Pittsburgh businessman Paul Mango – and the list is just starting.

Republicans think, particularly after Donald Trump won Pennsylvania, that Tom Wolf is vulnerable in 2018.

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