Businessman Tom Wolf, who served as secretary of revenue for two years during Gov. Rendell's second term, officially entered the 2014 Democratic primary election for governor Tuesday by pledging to invest $10 million of his own money in the race. Jay Howser, a Wolf spokesman, said the candidate is confident he can raise another $5 million for the primary.
That would seem to make Wolf a financial front-runner. U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord are expected to enter the Democratic race. Schwartz had $3.1 million in a federal account as of Dec. 31 that she can transfer to a state campaign. McCord had $1.5 million as of Dec. 31. Both have been actively fund-raising since then.
Wolf lives in Mount Wolf, north of York. He looked past Democratic rivals in his announcement, firing his first political salvos against Gov. Corbett. Wolf said Corbett has spent his first term as governor, "putting politics over policy; corporations over people; and giving away our natural resources to the highest bidder."
Wolf was planning to run for governor four years ago but said he learned that a business that has been in his family for six generations, supplying home products like kitchen cabinets and outdoor decking, was on the brink of collapse. He dropped the campaign to right the business. His holdings in the business before that were in a blind trust, he said.
Wolf said Rendell has been helpful with advice on how to run for governor. John Hanger, a secretary for environmental protection for Rendell has already declared his candidacy. Kathleen McGinty, another former DEP secretary for Rendell, filed paperwork recently to explore a run.
Wolf said the Rendell alumni, along with likely candidates U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord, will make a strong field for the Democratic primary.