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Politics & Government

Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf Wants State to Emulate Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Growth

Deanna Garcia
90.5 WESA

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has named director of Allegheny County Economic Development, Dennis Davin, as the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. One of the reasons, Wolf said, is the Pittsburgh region’s economic growth.

“Basically what I’m trying to do and what I want to do as governor is capture the magic that really we see out here in Western Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “In so many ways, the successes that everyone here as experienced in term so economic development is what I think we need to capture for the rest of Pennsylvania.”

Wolf said the region has set the table for strong private-sector growth, which he’d like to see expanded statewide. Plus, he said he wants to build upon things that make business successful, namely the education system, pride in one’s city and establishing strong leadership in state government.

A Democrat, Wolf is ousting Republican Tom Corbett, but the Pennsylvania General Assembly remains in Republican control. Wolf said that only means that he and state lawmakers will have to keep open minds and work together.

“Voters in Pennsylvania voted for divided government in November, but they didn’t vote for dysfunction, they didn’t vote for gridlock,” said Wolf.

Upon taking office, the Wolf administration will have a nearly $2 billion budget gap to contend with, among other things. The governor-elect didn’t lay out specific plans, but did say the first 200 days of his term will be key.

“You’re going to see some big ideas and some big conversations take place because Pennsylvania is in big trouble,” Wolf said. “I think this is not a time for looking at small things, or looking at ‘what’s that one little thing you’re going to do to kick things off,’ I want to start a broad-based conversation about how we make Pennsylvania a lot better than it is.”

Wolf said he’s been talking with numerous people about filling cabinet posts, among them Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar, but he wouldn’t elaborate nor say whether or not Bucar was being tapped for a top position.

Wolf will be sworn in Jan. 20.