Wolf ran his family’s York County kitchen cabinet business for years and has never held elected office.
He became the first person to defeat a sitting governor since the state constitution was changed in 1968– allowing governors to serve two terms. The wealthy 65-year-old 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 didn’t happen his first year in office. Instead Wolf spent much of 2015 presiding over the longest state budget stalemate in modern history– battling with the Republican-controlled legislature over issues including education funding and an overhaul of the public pension system.