Harrisburg — Today in the capitol rotunda John Hanger became the first Democratic gubernatorial candidate to unveil an employment plan for the state. The former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary claimed that if elected he could create 382,750 new jobs.
“Job creation requires educated, trained people who are healthy,” Hanger said.
His eight point plan emphasized greater state investment in education, sustainable development, the energy sector, manufacturing, and construction to increase employment.
He claims that Governor Corbett’s cuts to education destroyed 19,000 jobs and if the state were to cover 50% of education funding this would alleviate pressures on schools, property owners and teachers alike.
Hanger even said, “I endorse Governor Corbett’s transportation advisory committee’s recommendations, but it has just sat collecting dust on his desk. We have now missed three construction seasons.”
Hanger also balked at the idea of rejecting a Medicaid expansion with federal government support.
“In most counties across the state, the biggest employer in the county is a hospital. . . with a simple yes we could grow Pennsylvania’s total economy by one percentage point but the governor is avoiding it because of Tea Party politics.”
“This is a campaign of ideas and my campaign is putting policy front and center. I have been called a wonk before and I will take that as a compliment,” he said.
Hanger lives in Dauphin county. He was the first of the five Democrats who so far have declared bids for Governor. The others are pastor Max Myers, former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and former DEP Sec. Katie McGinty.
His campaign has been and is likely to remain based on policy first and politics second. Hanger faces an uphill climb against announced and unannounced candidates who are likely to have deeper pockets.