EXPLAINER | Gov. Tom Wolf
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Gov. Tom Wolf

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Tom Wolf is the 47th governor of Pennsylvania. The Democrat easily defeated unpopular Republican Tom Corbett in the November 2014 election.

He’s running for re-election, and several Republicans have entered the primary field in a bid to oppose him.

Wolf had never held elected office before becoming governor. He ran his family’s York County kitchen cabinet business for years.

He is the first person to defeat a sitting governor since the state constitution was changed in 1968, allowing governors to serve two terms. The wealthy businessman donated $10 million to his own campaign, allowing him to launch a slew of folksy TV commercials early on, which resonated with voters.

Over the years he’s been a major contributor to the Democratic party. After giving more than $200,000 to former Governor Ed Rendell, he was appointed state revenue secretary in 2007.

A central part of Wolf’s gubernatorial campaign focused on criticizing the way his predecessor handled Marcellus Shale gas development. Wolf pledged to do away with the current Marcellus Shale impact fee and enact a five percent severance tax on the gas industry, but that hasn’t happened — and if the state does adopt such a tax, it likely will be different than what Wolf proposed.

In early 2016, Wolf came under criticism from environmental advocates for what they say is a lack of action on issues such as climate change. Wolf cites a package of stronger regulations for Marcellus Shale gas drillers and a ban on further leasing of state park and forest land for oil and gas development as evidence he is getting things done despite a Republican-controlled Legislature.

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