Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

With Tom Wolf Leading in Polls, Competitors Point to His Political Shortcomings

Tom Wolf Campaign

In one week, Democratic Party members from across the state will choose their candidate to face Governor Tom Corbett in November’s gubernatorial election.

Last night, the remaining Democratic candidates for governor; state treasurer Rob McCord, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, Katie McGinty and front-runner Tom Wolf faced each other for a final debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Capitol correspondent Mary Wilson covered the debate.

“There are so few differences among them when it comes to policy, when it comes to what they say they would actually want to implement as governor.” Wilson said.

“They’re left to focus on what separates them in terms of personality and experience and they’re doing that, and they’re doing it with one guy who is leading the polls, Tom Wolf. His two closest competitors according to recent polls, Allyson Schwartz and Rob McCord, are doing their best to try to … pull him back into the pack and kind of knock off some of his popular support by calling attention to some of what they see as shortcomings.”

With about a 25 point lead Tom Wolf's  competitors have attacked his lack of political experience as well as business actions they believe are not above reproach.

Wilson described Wolf’s response to these attacks as “tepid”, saying that Wolf is so far ahead that he doesn’t have to defend himself, and can stay on message.

But Wolf did respond to one criticism on Monday night: when Schwartz claimed Wolf was untested, he fired back that not being a politician did not make him unqualified to run the state.

“I hear two different arguments being used there,” Wilson said. “What Wolf is arguing is something else. He’s not arguing that he is battle tested and can therefore win a general election, as Schwartz is arguing. He’s arguing that he has the bona fides, he has the experience to be a governor. So he’s overlooking all the tactics and all the insider’s game of who’s most likely to win, he’s talking about -is this guy qualified to be a governor?- setting aside whether he can win an election.”

To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.