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Tom Wolf wins Democratic nomination in race for Pa. governor

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: May 20 2014 08:11:52 PM CDT
Updated On: May 21 2014 04:42:07 AM CDT

WFMZ's Ryan Hughes reported from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's election night headquarters in Pittsburgh; Meghan Packer reported from Democrat Tom Wolf's headquarters in York.

YORK, Pa. -

Pennsylvania's new Democratic nominee for governor said he is the "luckiest person on the face of the Earth right now."

Millionaire businessman Tom Wolf told supporters in York in a victory speech Tuesday night that he has a big job to do spreading the Democratic message to all Pennsylvanians ahead of the Nov. 4 general election.

Wolf said Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has a record of hollowing out the state's schools and playing fast and loose with jobs and Pennsylvania's natural resources.

He said it's time again to invest in education and said "how about that for a change."

Wolf defeated three fellow hopefuls -- U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state environmental protection secretary Katie McGinty.

Wolf's primary victory comes after a months-long courtship of voters. His seemingly unending series of TV ads featured his Jeep Wrangler and testimonials from his wife, his two grown daughters and employees of his kitchen cabinet company.

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Voters said the folksy ads helped win them over. Wolf began them in the dead of winter after putting $10 million of his own money into the campaign.

Wolf's win sets up a race against a governor who has struggled with low approval ratings.

Corbett ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

In a speech to Corbett's supporters gathered in Pittsburgh, fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey urged Pennsylvania voters to grant Corbett a second term in office.

"I will be with you every step of the way," Christie said.

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"I know that, unfortunately, it's been tough," Corbett later said in his acceptance speech. "I know that not every decision was popular with everyone. I certainly understand that, but sometimes leadership requires that we make the hard decisions now so we can achieve the best results for our future generations."

Every Pennsylvania governor since 1970 has been awarded a second term. Corbett promised his supporters that this year will be no different.

"We are going to roll on through from now until election day," the governor said. "When our opponent tries to take us back to the old days of more and more spending, and more and more taxes, higher unemployment and more debt, we're going to keep on pushing forward. We're going to roll on to victory in November."

In the Democratic race for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania, state Sen. Mike Stack, of Philadelphia, came out on top.

Stack's victory in Tuesday's primary means he will be Wolf's running-mate in the November election.

Stack defeated former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, of Johnstown; Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski; state Rep. Brandon Neuman, of Washington County; and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith.

No clear front-runner emerged during the campaign, but Stack raised the most money -- more than $1 million.

The lieutenant governor's duties include presiding over the state Senate. Benefits include a three-story house with a swimming pool, a state vehicle and a salary of nearly $158,000.