Democratic candidate for governor Tom Wolf won in an anticipated victory over Republican incumbent Tom Corbett.
Wolf won 55-percent of the vote over Corbett according to the Associated Press (AP).
After a landslide win in the Democratic primary, beating out early favorite Allyson Schwarts as well as Kate McGinty and Rob McCord, Wolf led in the polls from early on, with YouGov giving him 52 percent of the vote in July and September over Corbett’s 39 percent.
His “fresh start” plan for Pennsylvania includes strengthening the middle class and small businesses. Wolf himself is a businessman, CEO of his family’s business Wolf Organization.
He has also called for raising the state minimum wage from $7.35 an hour to $10.10 an hour, according to the New York Times.
Wolf campaigned on the idea of heavily taxing the upper class and Marcellus natural gas industry, which his opponent Corbett said would drive away an economic and job stimulus on his own campaign website.
He also exploited Corbett’s negative image from education cuts in his campaigning.
Corbett inherited a $4.2 billion budget deficit in his first term and did manage to close the gap, partly from cutting state subsidies to schools by $1 billion. According to an analysis by the state House Democrats, school funding dropped from $9.8 billion in 2010 to $8.7 billion in 2011.
The aftermath caused schools statewide to cut 783 programs, often advanced placement, arts, music and physical education according to analysis by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. Another 370 could be cut this year.
The cuts were most severely felt by poorer schools, where a smaller portion of funding comes from local property owners.
Corbett also failed to affect the state’s liquor monopoly, Lyft and Uber’s status as a legal taxi alternative or the fallout from the separation of UPMC from Highmark health care and insurance providers, according to the Post-Gazette.
The business owner sports a Ph.D in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but has been criticized for his lack of political experience, having only served as state revenue secretary under Governor Rendell in 2007 and 2008.
However, Wolf has been shown to strongly favor women’s rights and marriage equality, saying he stands for women’s reproductive rights and wage equality and ensuring the Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ community’s rights are protected, according to his campaign website.