York County businessman Tom Wolf announced his plans to run for governor on Tuesday.
Here is the message he wrote to supporters:
Dear Friend -
It’s important to me that you be among the first to know. I’m in.
After a lot of thought and discussion with my family, I’ve decided I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and watch Gov. Corbett continue with policies that prevent Pennsylvania from moving ahead. I know Pennsylvania can do better.
Instead of believing in our state and its future, Gov. Corbett has spent his term in office putting politics over policy; corporations over people; and giving away our natural resources to the highest bidder. This governor put 100,000 children at risk of losing health care. He cut education by $1 billion dollars. And Pennsylvania has gone from 7th to 46th in job creation. This is not tapping our potential. This is wasting it.
While workers see their take-home pay decline amid a sea of unemployment, Gov. Corbett gives special tax breaks to corporate interests. While the middle class gets a government that puts roadblocks in front of their every effort to get ahead, special interests get a free pass.
I believe we can do so much better. So today we begin a journey together to reclaim fairness for the middle class. Let’s engage in a great debate over policy, values, fairness, and our future.
Growing up in a small town, my parents always taught me to value hard work and be willing to help those who are down on their luck through no fault of their own. Those were lessons that really stuck with a scrawny boy growing up among the rambling hills of south-central Pennsylvania. So as a young man, I joined the Peace Corps and went overseas to do my part in helping to fight poverty. For two years living in rural India, I saw deep poverty up close, every hour of every day.
I came home determined to make a difference, but unsure how to do so. I worked at a hardware store and then drove a truck for the family business. As time went on, I worked my way up and eventually took over the company. Along the way, I got lucky — I married the love of my life, Frances. Together, we raised two daughters who’ve made both of our lives so complete.
With our growing family and growing business, we decided to stay in my hometown. The company kept expanding, and so did the number of jobs we created. Recognized as a job creator, I was appointed as Revenue Secretary by Gov. Rendell. I’m proud that instead of privatizing the state lottery, my office actually strengthened it, laying the foundation for millions of additional dollars for senior citizens.
As a successful businessman who has created hundreds of good paying jobs, the one thing I know is that government should not be run like a business. When I hear people say that, it really bothers me. Businesses are not in the trade of educating our kids, providing health care to low-income families and children, and giving seniors the dignity of a happy and secure retirement. Our government is — or at least, it should be.
Unfortunately, under Gov. Corbett, our state government hasn’t been run like a successful anything. It’s been run into the ground. Together, we need to stand up for our state and say enough is enough.
It’s not right that Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that does not charge a tax on oil and natural gas extraction — even Texas does. And whether that has something to do with the millions of dollars that oil and natural gas companies have given Gov. Corbett, or not, it has to change.
We also should put an end the to endless special tax breaks Gov. Corbett has given to corporations whose lobbyists roam the halls in Harrisburg. It’s robbing from our kids’ education and the future of the middle class.
It’s time for Pennsylvania to believe in itself again. It’s time we embrace our rich tradition and build a brighter future. It’s time for Pennsylvania to believe in all that it is and be all that it can be.
Together, we can create fairness for Pennsylvania families.
Paid for and authorized by Tom Wolf for Governor, 1831 Chestnut, 6th FLR, Philadelphia, PA 19103.