Transcript of Senator Scott Wagner’s Speech Announcing his Candidacy for Governor
Below is a transcript of Scott Wagner’s remarks at his announcement for his candidacy for Pennsylvania Governor.
Hello – My name is Scott Wagner.
I am a small business owner from York, PA.
I have been a private sector business owner for almost forty years.
Several of my businesses I have started from scratch.
I was not handed these businesses, nor did I come from a wealthy family.
Today at my various companies we employ hundreds of hard working, middle-class people.
In August of 2013, I decided to run for a seat in the PA State Senate.
Due to a groundswell of people in York County who knew me and believed in me and were fed up with the status quo, I was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in March of 2014 as the first ever write-in candidate to win a seat in the Pennsylvania legislature.
History was made on March 18, 2014 in York County.
My decision in 2013 to run for a seat in the PA State Senate was based on four reasons.
I was tired of being used like an ATM machine by career politicians who were all talk and no action.
My companies were being choked by massive regulations.
As a business owner, I was tired of being treated like a criminal by the government. Every time personnel from a federal or state agency would come to my businesses without an appointment and unannounced it was clear they were visiting our businesses to find us doing something wrong so they could fine us.
As the leader of my companies, I felt our employees and their families weren’t being properly represented in Harrisburg and protected from out of control government.
People at our various companies clock in early in the morning, hit the streets and service our customers. At the end of the day, they clock out and then go home to their families. Because of these people and their efforts, I felt strongly that they needed representation.
I have been in the PA State Senate for almost three years and I see first- hand how out of control and dysfunctional Harrisburg really is.
When I went to Harrisburg I knew things would be bad – they are in fact much worse than I envisioned.
The current dysfunction has been the result of 30-40 years of doing the same things over and over and allowing special interest groups to become way too powerful and influential.
Shortly after I joined the State Senate in Harrisburg I was part of the leadership change.
Major reform bills that never saw the light of day under the previous Senate leadership are finally getting voted on due to the willingness of Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman allowing these bills to go to the floor for a vote.
I can report to you that I have seen progress over the last two years in Harrisburg.
Things are starting to move in the right direction.
However, there is a major roadblock that is preventing many reforms from taking place.
The roadblock I am talking about is Governor Tom Wolf.
Tom Wolf campaigned that he was private sector business person and could turn Pennsylvania around.
Truth be told Tom Wolf was a sixth generation business owner – so that means he was six generations away from starting from scratch.
Tom Wolf promised to lower taxes, create new jobs and that he would change the way Harrisburg does business.
Last week Pennsylvania’s gas tax went up another eight cents per gallon.
If you didn’t know this fact – Pennsylvania’s gas tax is the highest in the nation.
What has Governor Wolf done about the gas tax – he has done nothing.
Instead of changing Harrisburg, Tom Wolf has been the guardian of special interest groups in Harrisburg.
Under Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania’s financial condition continues to get worse, unemployment is up and Pennsylvanian’s are becoming more frustrated.
It is very simple.
Governor Wolf is a failed Governor.
He failed to lower property taxes as promised instead property taxes skyrocketed under Wolf.
He failed to control wasteful spending and actually made it worse.
He failed to solve the pension crisis.
He failed the schools and children of Pennsylvania by having the longest budget shutdown in history.
He failed to get Pennsylvania’s economy moving again, instead unemployment increased to the highest in the northeast region.
Tom Wolf is a failed Governor and it’s time for him to go.
That is why today, I am officially announcing my candidacy for Governor of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is at a crossroads.
Pennsylvania has a pension crisis.
Property owners are choking on ever increasing school taxes on their properties.
Unemployment is up.
Pennsylvania’s economy is stalled.
Pennsylvania’s businesses are choking on regulations.
It is make or break time.
I am very different from Governor Wolf.
I grew up on a farm.
I shoveled horse manure at age 10.
I learned how to repair every piece of used farm equipment we owned.
I was raised by parents who taught me how to work hard and never give up.
I started several of my businesses from scratch.
I have been through at least five recessions – my first recession was in 1980 when the prime interest rate went up to 22%. I almost did not financially survive the 1980 recession.
But I am a survivor.
At my first waste company, I drove the garbage trucks and loaded garbage into the trucks.
I cleaned the toilets and still do today if they need cleaned.
I would never ask anyone who works with me to do a task that I would not do myself.
I still have my CDL license and I can drive any piece of equipment in our various fleets.
I understand operations inside and out.
We need a Governor who understands operations.
Pennsylvania is a unique state – within 24 hours we can reach one-third of our nation’s population.
Pennsylvania has a great work force – in fact we need more skilled labor to meet future demands.
Pennsylvania should and can be an economic powerhouse.
In February of 2015, Governor Wolf stated at a National Governor’s Association conference that “the biggest problem in Pennsylvania is low self-esteem.”
Trust me Governor Wolf, the hard-working middle class people throughout Pennsylvania are very proud of what they do, they do not have a self-esteem problem.
Since Governor Wolf took office, Pennsylvania’s unemployment has increased.
We have Pennsylvania state agencies’ that are not operating in a fashion to help businesses grow and prosper.
Many of the state agencies do not understand customer service and deadlines.
I have seen first-hand that Pennsylvania does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending problem.
I have served almost three years in the Senate – I feel powerless.
The number one person driving the agenda is the Governor, not the legislature.
We have the largest majorities in the legislature than we have had in a long time – in fact today, the PA Senate has a majority not seen for almost 70 years.
As long as we have a Republican majority in the legislature and Tom Wolf is in the Governor’s office we are going nowhere.
Pennsylvania desperately needs a Governor who has extensive leadership skills and understands how operating a business really works.
Pennsylvania needs a Governor who is a visionary to see the future and build a team to lead Pennsylvania to be a powerhouse again.
We are running out of time to turnaround our great state, out of control spending, zero accountability, the pension crisis, school taxes, an aging population, a skilled labor crisis and too many special interest groups getting the whole pie instead of hard working middle class Pennsylvanian’s getting a piece of the pie.
To all Pennsylvanians, and I say all Pennsylvanians, I want to be your next Governor.
I have the skills to lead – I possess visionary skills to see what the future can look like.
Get government off the backs of businesses and I can assure you that Pennsylvania businesses will create jobs without government interference.
The last time I checked businesses drive everything – we pay our employees – we both pay taxes and fees to the government and because of that fact government employees get paychecks.
As Governor, I will make this pledge to you – I will do everything in my power to change the status quo in Pennsylvania.
I will do everything in my power to jump start our economy.
I will do everything in my power to solve the pension crisis and lower or eliminate school taxes.
The primary election and general elections are in 2018 – so I am out early.
I ask that you learn more about me – check me out – learn as much as you can about me.
For the first time in modern history, the citizens of Pennsylvanian have an opportunity to elect a Governor who has built several prominent and successful, private sector, small businesses from scratch.
I am not a career politician, or an attorney, and I do not have a PHD.
If you are truly fed up with Harrisburg and want real change, I am asking for you to vote for me in 2018.
One of my favorite slogans that I learned in my business career is that “TEAM” stands for – “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
Today, I am asking ALL Pennsylvanians to join the Scott Wagner for Governor Team so that Pennsylvania can finally achieve more.