Pennsylvania Working Families, a new liberal group with ties to organized labor, on Tuesday endorsed Democrat Tom Wolf for governor, saying he would increase state education funding and push for an increase in the minimum wage.
"We believe Tom Wolf can and will restore our great commonwealth," said Chris Woods, executive vice president for District 1119C, of the health-care workers' union.
The group is targeting its voter-outreach around the minimum-wage issue. Wolf has said he supports hiking the wage to $10.10 an hour, while Gov. Corbett has expressed concern that an increase would slow hiring and hurt the economy.
"We are going door to door in swing (state) senate districts building support for the minimum wage increase," said Kati Sipp, director of PA Working Families. "That means that regardless of who controls the Senate, we'll be able to show that support for minimum wage cuts across party lines, so that our next governor Tom Wolf can be sure of getting a vote on it and other key issues for working Pennsylvanians." Sipp said.
Jesse Bacon, communications director for PA Working Families, portrayed his group's grassroots-based endorsement of Wolf as a contrast to the big money Corbett is receiving from national Republicans. (The Republican Governors Association last week announced it would send $3.5 million to Corbett, on top of the $1.8 million it has already transferred to his campaign.)
Working Families launched a chapter in Pennsylvania during the primary season earlier this year. It already is working in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut.