PA-Gov: Wolf Kicks Off Major Media Buy (Watch Video)

The Former Revenue Secretary and gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf made his first television advertisement appearance today.

The ad, called “Meet Tom,” was seen by many in Pennsylvania during the Today Show this morning.

“What can we say? Our dad is a little different,” Wolf’s daughters say. “A lot different.”

“I’m Tom Wolf and I’ll be a different kind of governor,” he responds.

Screen shot from "Meet Tom"
Screen shot from “Meet Tom”

It features Wolf talking about growing up in Central Pennsylvania. His wife and two daughters jump in to talk about his work in the Peace Corps, going to MIT, building his family business, working as the state’s Revenue Secretary and how he refused a state car.

It features a scene of Wolf driving down a street, waving in his old Jeep.

The sixty-second spot is an upbeat ad that will get to voters before they’ve reached political commercial fatigue later this campaign season.

According to a source with knowledge of the buy, it’s costing Wolf’s campaign $370,000 this week in every broadcast television market in the state and on cable.

Television will likely be a major tool in the Wolf campaign. He doesn’t have the name recognition of some of the other candidates, but he has an unparalleled bank account. His campaign raised $13.27 million last year and likely will not be outspent in the primary season.

In the Democratic primary, he faces Rep. Allyson Schwartz, State Treasurer Rob McCord, former DEP Secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, minister Max Myers and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.

13 Responses

  1. Frank-
    Schwartz does seem to have a lot of volunteers, but I’m not convinced they are well organized or effective.

    There seemed to be a lot of chaos and noise making the last time I saw a bunch of them gathered at an event, but they seemed more like cheerleaders declaring they had already won.

  2. To bad he wants to tax western Pennsylvania’s job growth industry (Marcellus shale) and send the money to the political class in Harrisburg so they can redistribute it to eastern PA and Philly. That doesn’t sound like some “new type” of governor. That sounds like the same old corruption. Doesn’t he know that people in eastern PA and Philly stay warmer cheaper in Pennsylvania winters because of Marcellus Shale? What kind of business person was he? Really?

  3. Met him at debate in Pittsburgh very nice guy this race will come down to ground game and from what i heard Schwartz has the most volunteers and Her ground game wull be hard to beat and shes been running for governor for a long time its a womans turn thats why she leads every poll taken so far

  4. Jon seems to have hit the nail on the head – I think it’s likely a three-way race with McCord, Schwartz, and Wolf, though I’m not quite ready to count out McGinty, she’s got some work to do, but I don’t see Schwartz making it out.

    This really is a well done ad and I’m impressed. It will be interesting to see if PA’s Democratic voters will rally behind a somewhat quirkier candidate or if they’ll go with a more traditional candidate like McCord. At the end of the day, no one can say Wolf doesn’t have a great story to tell.

  5. Wolf is definitely a dark horse in the Democratic Primary. He’s got the money to get his name ID out there to offset Allyson Schwartz and Rob McCord. I see this as a three way race between McCord, Wolf, & Schwartz. This first ad by Wolf was impressive. I think Allyson is going to struggle and I see her losing the nomination. McCord and Wolf will be too much for her. McCord and Wolf will be difficult for Corbett to beat. I actually think if Corbett faces Schwartz, Corbett stands a better chance of being re-elected.

  6. Jeremy-
    The profit sharing is an important message for Wolf to get out there, and the fact that you picked up on it shows it was smart for Wolf’s team to put it in.

    Now, the reason for my statement…..

    The other candidates are soaking up union endorsements like dry sponges in a rainstorm. One of “whisper attacks” on Wolf is that his workers aren’t unionized. (I’ve heard this at least once, though I don’t recall the source.) Of course, this attack leaves out the generous profit sharing his employees enjoy. The goal is to falsely imply Tom is anti-union with the intention of drawing the false inference that he’s anti-worker.

    I think this point in the ad helps inoculate him from such attacks.

    As Democrats who want a positive Primary campaign, we should make a point of preempting, deconstructing and debunking negative attacks by the candidates that are not legitimate. A legitimate attack would be if a candidate’s stance on an issue (like gay marriage) that was at odds with the majority of Dems and an important election issue.

    I’m a voter, not a candidate, so I will continue my criticisms when the candidates are bad on an issue, and defend them from GOP attacks on positions I share.

    We are really lucky to have a great bench. I’d like to see every candidate having a chance to get on the ballot and get their message out. I think pretty much all of them can beat Corbett, so Dems should strive to pick the ones who would do the best job and represent Democratic values.

  7. I saw this on msnbc at 5:30 this morning and couldn’t have been more impressed. Tom Wolf is going to be a serious contender if he can keep this up because no matter what he will spend more money than everyone else. So someone is going to have to go negative against him which is going to further his message of being an outsider even though he has been Revenue Secretary for a short time.He will par well in northwestern pa and give Mccord a run for his money up here (Mercer County)

  8. This is a good ad with a great message. So far I’ve been trying to decide between McCord and McGinty, but Tom Wolf is coming across very well and could prove to be attractive to Republican voters too.

  9. The message of sharing 25-30% of his profits is going to reflect well with the national narrative of Income Inequality.

    Wolf is the perfect dark horse at the perfect time. This should be interesting.

  10. I agree completely. I think his ad is smart, as is his timing. I know nothing about Wolf, but you can be sure I’ll be learning as much as I can about him. The field is very strong, thankfully. People get turned off by negative ads. There’s plenty of negative things to say about the current gov. Be positive dems!

  11. This is a very strong ad. My Mom saw it during the ABC evening news (host Diane Sawyer) and was VERY impressed.

    Now, admittedly, she hasn’t seen the ads from the other candidates yet (and there will be plenty, and with good background stories), but for the moment, Tom Wolf is “king of the hill”. 🙂

    Wolf can afford to go up early, since he has more cash on hand. With name-recognition a key factor in EARLY polls, this is bound to help him out in the short term. It may help out in the long term to deepen his connection with voters.

    Of course, ground-game is a completely different arena in the election, and we aren’t going to know much about that for any candidates until we see how they do with Petitions next month, and then how much they learn from that experience for the last two months of the campaign.

    One final note: I think the candidates should stick with positive ads and not go negative.

    The Dem field is very strong this year and I don’t think the party will benefit from attack ads.

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