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Frontrunner Status Catches Up With Wolf


After dominating the airwaves for weeks and polls showing him leading the pack, former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf became the newest target of attacks.

In a Tribune Review article, Wolf explained his past relationships with imperfect politicians.

“I’m new to this. I’m certainly new to being a front-runner,” he told the Tribune-Review in their exclusive interview. “There’s obviously going to be a bull’s-eye on my back. There’s going to be efforts to make everything I ever did or said to be put in the worst possible light.”

Wolf was involved in the campaign of former York Mayor Charles Robertson, who stood trial for the 1969 murder of a young woman, but was found not guilty in 2002. He’s also been an outspoken support of former Rep. Steven Stetler, who went to jail for six counts of corruption. Wolf even raised money for his legal fund.

“I believe [Stetler] is a good person,” Wolf said, adding that he “respectfully disagrees with the court.”

By not hiding from these controversial issues, he may weather this storm more than two months before the primary.

The goal of another campaign pitching these stories now is to build a pattern that would be damaging to Wolf, one Republican strategist told PoliticsPA.

Though it’s not clear who the story came from, Wolf was very upfront about the relationships and may have mitigated some of the bite from the attacks.

“It’s hard to say how it will be used,” Franklin and Marshall professor and pollster Terry Madonna told the Tribune-Review. “It’s not like (Wolf) broke the law.”

The tip has picked up some steam, as John Baer of the Philadelphia Daily News ran his analysis earlier this week, but the polls show Wolf with a sizeable margin over his competitors.

In the latest F&M poll, Wolf took 36%, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz took 9%, State Treasurer Rob McCord took 3%, and the DEP Secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger tied at 1%.

Former Auditor General Jack Wagner and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz are also in the running for the Democratic nomination, but weren’t polled.

22 Responses

  1. Regardless of Party affiliation, it is time to cease wealthy people buying an office.

  2. Former Lower Merion Constable Eric Bradway Is The Best Candidate for Governor in Pennsylvania . Constable Bradway will win the Democratic Nomination and go on to win The General Election and will be your next Governor in Pennsylvania

  3. If the guilt by association game is what McCord is going to play, why doesn’t he explain his now indicted buddy Pervez Musharraf? Musharraf considers McCord a friend, it was in the Inquirer. He killed, illegally held power, led a coup, stole from his country and allowed Al Qaeda and the Taliban to run wild. I guess a person like Mr Stetler is a big deal in comparison to Mr McCord’s friend? I guess ordering the assassination of a powerful woman with a voice is something McCord digs? Watch out Katie and Allyson. No guilt by association will work or be as bad as McCord’s buddy Pervez.

  4. @marylouiseschneiders – Comparing Pennsylvania politics to New York City elections is like comparing a potato to a cactus. Both grow in the soil, but have almost nothing else in common. Just two quick huge differences are that New York City has per donor contribution and also provides 6:1 public matching funds. In addition to the contribution limits, a candidate abiding by the public financing rules receives $1,050 in extra public $ on the first $175 the candidate receives from a donor (turning a $175 contribution into $1,225 for the campaign).

    These two things level the playing field (the candidates in the NYC mayoral race spent very similar amounts of $) and do not exist in Pennsylvania. No other candidate for Governor will spend anywhere near as much as Wolf. All of them project budgets before the campaign begins, and if anybody though they would come close to raising what Wolf had, they would have been on TV weeks ago (and certainly after the public polls were released).

    You can continue wishful thinking, but Pennsylvania elections are nothing like NYC elections.

  5. @frank – I am “speechless” (likely for a different way than you) and said nothing about the article because that is exactly its importance: nothing. All 4 campaigns that have professional staff have known about these two trivial matters for many months. All 4 campaigns have plenty of opposition research on the other candidates and themselves (and, believe me, the longer a candidate’s public record, the more points vulnerable to attack – and your candidate has cast thousands of votes, supported hundreds of projects, and done hundreds of other things over 24 years in office). That is the way professionals do it.

    I believe a verse from William Shakespeare describes the content of this article (well, “revelation” to you), and the reaction of Wolf’s opponents to it, best:

    “…it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
    Macbeth, Act V, Scene V

    @frank, please stick to making bad predictions and masking your cheerleading as analysis.

  6. City Council Speaker Quinn was at 45% when Representative Weiner entered the race. She finished third behind Public Advocate DeBlasio who got 40% of an anemic turnout and former Contoller Thompson. Weiner briefly led the pack but he finished fifth and poor Controller Liu finished sixth. That was a lot of movement in a campaign in New York City. Maybe it happens in Pennsylvania.

  7. Wolf is the front-runner. We will now see how strong of a fighter he is. If he can defend his 40% and not let it drop below 32%, he will win. It is hard to believe Wolf will drop from 40% to say 20%. Although 20% may be able to still win it. This is Wolf’s race to lose.

  8. @robbie you sound a little upset you said nothing about the article i would be speechless to.

  9. As always, @steveinpa and @frank are shilling for Allyson Schwartz. Just a few weeks ago (before the polls), @steveinpa was claiming Wolf’s commercials were a waste of money and he should have given all the money to charity instead (because @steveinpa thinks he can tell others what they should do with their money). At the same time, @frank was claiming Wolf didn’t have a chance to win, his TV commercials were “cheesy” and ineffective, and he didn’t have a chance to win. How is that investment in those commercials working so far? Clearly neither @steveinpa or @frank has any real experience running real campaigns that spend millions of dollars. Neither @steveinpa or @frank will think anybody but Allyson Schwartz will win the campaign for Governor. Maybe that is why serious campaign hire real political professionals, rather than @steveinpa and @frank, for senior advisory positions.

    There is a huge difference between political professionals who have forgotten more about campaigns and those who only know about politics what they read on blogs and analyze the situation based only on what they want to believe and who they want to win.

  10. who would have thought a republican county such as york. would have so many corrupt democrats.i think terry madonna nailed it. this is not good for his sure corbett is sitting back writing all this down and planning on using it in november if he is the nominee.

  11. The Wolf campaign did the smart thing bringing these up to the Tribune-Review. These issues won’t cause much trouble for Wolf. He’ll have a small drop, if any, and then get back to leading the field with his tv commercials running by themselves.

  12. i think what were finding out this primary with the democrats is that they all have baggage.schwartz was front runner a month ago and she took shots.i just read the whole article on wolf. i do think this will hurt him.he has alot of damage control to do. and frankly its hard to defend it. i know he has done nothing just dont look good being associated with these types of individuals who knows next month may be rob mccords turn in the barrel.

  13. If this is the best that the Wolf detractors can attack him with – he is going to have an easy time enjoying front runner status from now through the primary. These attacks are convoluted and just don’t resonate with a majority of voters.

  14. @robbie if this is the type of people he deals with who knows who will be in a wolf adminstration as soon as the public gets a hold of this and believe me this isnt going away soon his numbers will fade fast. just watch and see.nothing wrong with standing behind a convicted criminal lets see if the public buys it.and the other case involving mayor robertson im speechless.

  15. Truth-

    Yeah. No way anyone would write an attack piece on Rob by dredging up any associations he’s ever had. LOL.

    This is some weak tea saying he supports someone he thinks got a raw deal in court (especially when one of the two examples involved an acquittal).

    I’m sure the other candidates would love to be in Wolf’s shoes and have a reason to be attacked.

  16. @truth – So you believe in guilt by association? Do you know what a legal defense fund is? It doesn’t commit any illegal acts and it does not take a position that illegal acts are fine. Instead, a legal defense fund merely raises money from willing donors so the accused can pay for legal representation (I thought the accused was permitted legal representation in our judicial system?). And you think those who are accused never should have legal representation? Let’s hope you never get charged with anything. Because taxpayers (without being asked) pay for public defenders (available in all criminal matters) for criminal law defendants, every taxpayer deserves to be condemned?

    I’m sure you are upset your preferred candidate has very small single-digit numbers in every poll, but perhaps you should take a look at him. McCord has several high-level staffers who worked for and were given immunity to testify against politicians who went to federal and state jail for public corruption. Look it up. But that probably conflicts with what you want to believe.

  17. A state legislator goes to jail on 6 counts of corruption and mr.wolf starts a fund for his legal battle so i guesd the others who were charged in bonus gate mr.wolf sees no problem with this. if your running for governor you must uphold the law and punish those who break the sure corbett would love to see mr.wolf become the nominee with these 2 articles plus ties with rendell.republicans thought they had a better shot with Schwartz now they are hoping for mr.wolf.rob mccord is starting to look pretty good now

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

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