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PA-Gov: Wolf Stars in New York Times Profile Piece

Tom-WolfAt his inauguration, new Governor Tom Wolf vowed to be an “unconventional governor.” This bold promise and his story are getting him national attention.

Wolf was the star of a New York Times profile published Friday. The Times recognized Wolf as only Democrat in the country to defeat a Republican Governor this election season “at a time when his party’s record was only slightly less calamitous than that of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

Wolf told The Times that taking on the position of governor was a natural next step for him. And the problems facing the state don’t deter him. In fact, quite the opposite.

“A $2 billion budget deficit in a perverse way excites me,” Wolf said. “I am a guy who dropped out of Dartmouth to join the Peace Corps and then went back to work in a lumber company.”

In The Times piece, Wolf spoke on some of the issues he hopes to tackle in office. He highlighted the benefit of a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas production, voicing his opposition to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fracking ban.

“I want this industry to really work in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “What we need to do is do it right.”

The biggest issue during the campaign, education will continue to be a focus during Wolf’s administration. Wolf hopes to address the state’s tax system to make it “more fair.”

“Some of our systems are more segregated than before Brown v. the Board of Ed,” he said. “We have to look at making our tax system fairer.”

Although Wolf’s first move in office — rescinding more than two dozen late-term appointments by Republican Governor Tom Corbett — may say otherwise, the new governor is adamant that he can work with the GOP-controlled legislature.

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey agrees, lauding Wolf as “about as rooted in Pennsylvania as you can get” with a “quiet toughness” that will serve him well in office.

For Wolf himself, leadership is a combination of three things: management skills, creative policy thinking and deep roots.

“I look around and I don’t see anybody who combines all those things,” he said. “I see people who are good managers and don’t give a whit about the place they are trying to govern.”

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