Tom Wolf (politician)

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Tom Wolf
Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania
In office
April 25, 2007 – November 30, 2008
Governor Ed Rendell
Preceded by Gregory Fajt
Succeeded by Stephen Stetler
Personal details
Born (1948-11-17) November 17, 1948 (age 65)
York, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frances (1975–present)
Children 2
Alma mater Dartmouth College
University of London
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Website Campaign website

Thomas W. "Tom" Wolf (born November 17, 1948) is an American businessman who is the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2014 election.[1][2] Previously, he served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from April 2007 until November 2008.[3][4][5]

Wolf is chairman of his family-owned business, The Wolf Organization Inc., a building-product company specializing in kitchen cabinets. He stepped down as CEO at the end of December 2013 to focus on his gubernatorial campaign.[6]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Wolf was born on November 17, 1948, in York, Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1972, an M.A. from the University of London in 1978 and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.[4] While a student, Wolf joined the Peace Corps, during which time he spent two years in India.[7][8] He met his wife, Frances, at school and married her in 1975. They have two adult daughters.[9]

After graduating, Wolf began working for the Wolf Organization Inc., a family-owned building materials company based in York, as a forklift operator until purchasing the company in 1985 with two business partners. During the administration of Governor Robert P. Casey, Wolf served on an economic development board and on the Pennsylvania Legislative Commission on Urban Schools.[10]

After selling his company to a private equity firm in 2006, Wolf was nominated in January 2007 by then-Governor Ed Rendell to be the Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania. He served in that position on Rendell's cabinet from his April 2007 confirmation by the Pennsylvania State Senate until resigning in November 2008.[4][8][11] He had planned to run for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2010 election, but ultimately did not in order to repurchase the Wolf Organization, which was facing bankruptcy.[8][10][11]

Wolf serves as Chair of the York County United Way, the York County Community Foundation, the York College Board of Trustees, and as Chairman of the York County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been active in the York Jewish Community Center, the Memorial Hospital of York, and a regional public television system.[12]

2014 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On April 2, 2013, Wolf announced his candidacy for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2014 election. He pledged $10 million of his personal wealth toward the primary election, with an intent to raise at least $5 million from supporters throughout the state. He was the third person to announce candidacy, following John Hanger of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Max Meyers, a minister from Cumberland County, but at least four others were expected to join the race.[2]

By March 2014, several polls suggested Wolf was the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination following an extensive television and radio advertising campaign.[13][14] A Franklin & Marshall College poll conducted in late February 2014 showed Wolf with a 27-point lead over his nearest competitor, Allyson Schwartz,[15] and a Harper poll showed him leading Schwartz by 26 percentage points,[16] as did an additional Franklin & Marshall poll in late March 2014.[17]

In late April and early May, Wolf faced attacks from fellow candidate Rob McCord over his relationship with controversial former York, Pennsylvania, mayor Charlie Robertson.[18] Allyson Schwartz also accused Wolf's campaign of plagiarizing his "Fresh Start" plan from an energy equipment company.[19] Despite the attacks, a Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll suggested Wolf continued to lead with 38% to Allyson Schwartz's and Rob McCord's respective 13% and 11%.[20]

In the May 20 primary, Wolf defeated Schwartz, McCord, and Katie McGinty, to win the Democratic nomination for Governor. As such, he will face incumbent Governor Tom Corbett in the November general election.[1] Heading into the final two months of the campaign, a number of polls indicated a varying but consistent advantage for Wolf over Corbett. A late-August Robert Morris University poll suggested Wolf held a 55.5% to 24.7% lead over his Republican opponent[21] and another late-August poll conducted by Franklin & Marshall College showed Wolf garnering 49% of respondent support to Corbett's 24%.[22] An early September Harper poll suggested the margin of the race was narrower, albeit with Wolf still surpassing the 50% mark, leading the incumbent 52% to 41%.[23]


  1. ^ a b Foster, Brittany (20 May 2014). "PA-Gov: Wolf Wins Democratic Nomination". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Gibson, Keegan (2 April 2013). "Wolf Declares for Gov, Pledges $10 Mil to Campaign". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Thomas Wolf's Biography". Project Vote Smart.  (an archive from 25 November 2008 is also available)
  4. ^ a b c "About Us - Thomas W. Wolf, Secretary". Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. 
  5. ^ "GOVERNOR RENDELL ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION OF TOM WOLF, APPOINTMENT OF STEPHEN STETLER AS REVENUE SECRETARY (11/12/2008)" (Press release). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Levy, Marc (5 March 2014). "Company gives info in Democrat’s race for Pa. gov.". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "2014 Election Watch". Committee of Seventy. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Sidhu, Sonia (17 September 2013). "Penn Dems to host Pa. gov candidate Tom Wolf". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Meet Tom Wolf". Tom Wolf for Governor. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Tom Wolf says he won't run for governor". York Daily Record. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b O'Toole, James (13 March 2014). "York's Wolf spending own fortune in his bid for governor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Thomas W. Wolf". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  13. ^ O'Toole, James (6 March 2014). "Pittsburgh-area leaders expected to back Tom Wolf". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Smith, Vincent J. (8 March 2014). "PA-Gov: Pittsburgh Politicos Back Wolf". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Franklin & Marshall College Poll". Franklin & Marshall College. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Pennsylvania Democratic Primary Poll". Harper Polling. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Durantine, Pete. "FM Poll: Wolf Holds Lead in Democratic Primary". Franklin & Marshall College. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Foster, Brittany (2 May 2014). "PA-Gov: McCord Releases Chilling Negative Ad Against Wolf". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Foster, Brittany (24 April 2014). "PA-Gov: Schwartz Accuses Wolf of Plagiarizing "Fresh Start" Plan". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Poll: Wolf maintains lead in Democratic governor race". The Morning Call. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "National Poll Report". Robert Morris University Polling Institute. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "Franklin & Marshall College Poll". Franklin & Marshall College. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Pennsylvania Statewide Poll September 2-3, 2014". Harper Polling. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Dan Onorato
Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
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