PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The end of the race for Congress in the 18th Congressional District is not the end of the political season.
The focus is about to turn on the governor’s race and the Republicans vying to unseat Democrat Tom Wolf.
Now in his fourth year as governor of Pennsylvania, Wolf wants another four years.
“I think Pennsylvania is moving in the right direction,” Wolf said. “I’d like four more years to keep it moving in that direction.”
The businessman-turned-politician easily recites his accomplishments.
“Historic increases in education funding, expanded Medicaid so that we are now one of the lowest states in the country in terms of our uninsured populations,” Wolf said. “Legalized medical marijuana, reformed the pension system. I’ve actually modernized the liquor system for the first time since Prohibition … and I’ve done all this in a time when we are actually paying our bills as a Commonwealth and for the first time this year, I expect to put some money into the Rainy Day Fund. It’d be the first time in a decade.”
As a businessman, what makes him proudest as governor…
“I’m proud, proudest of the fact that I’ve done that in a way that is fiscally responsible,” Wolf said. “I mean, I’ve saved $2 billion.”
But the soft-spoken Wolf knows he’s not a typical politician and the public may not yet be aware of his accomplishments.
“One of my predecessors pointed out that I am not a very good self-promoter, and I think that’s fair,” he said.
Of course, millions of dollars of television ads can fix that.
While Wolf is unopposed in the Democratic primary, he will ultimately face off against one of three Republicans running for the nomination in May: Pittsburgh attorney Laura Ellsworth, Pittsburgh business consultant Paul Mango and York County state senator Scott Wagner.
Wolf is not worried and, in the meantime, will focus on his favorite job, he says — meeting Pennsylvanians.
“When you just meet people, if it’s just the gladhanding, slapping on the back, I’m not… I don’t get that,” Wolf said. “If you actually ask people questions, everybody has an interesting story. Everybody.”
At this stage, most pundits predict Wolf will win reelection. After all, the only incumbent governor who ever lost a second term was Tom Corbett, who was defeated by Wolf.
Still, it’s much too early to write off the Republicans. They will pick their nominee in nine weeks.