opioid epidemic

Wagner Has Wolf Playing Defense Two Months Into The General Election

What They Are Saying About The 2018 Pennsylvania Governor’s Race

“Wagner begins town hall tour, Wolf deploys defense” – WITF, 7/6/18

“Wagner’s claims have put Wolf’s camp on the school-funding defensive”- Allentown Morning Call, 7/12/18

“Governor Wolf’s spending on attack ads insinuate that the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race is still competitive.” – Townhall, 7/17/18

Scott Wagner has come out of the  blocks with an unmatched sense of urgency since capturing the Republican nomination in May. As multiple media outlets have noted, Wagner’s aggressive campaign, spearheaded by his summer town hall tour, has Governor Wolf on the defensive.


KDKA’s Jon Delano: “Don’t underestimate @realScottWagner. He is as hard a working candidate as I’ve seen.” (Twitter, 6/30/18)

Townhall’s Reagan McCarthy: “Scott Wagner has spent time in each corner of the state, and will continue to engage with voters, while Wolf has done little campaigning on the ground.” (Townhall, 7/17/18)

PennLive’s John Micek: “If you’re of a certain frame of mind, Republican governor candidate Scott Wagner can be criticized for any number of things. But one of the things you can’t accuse him of is a lack of initiative.” (PennLive, 7/2/18)


Townhall’s Reagan McCarthy: “Aside from the Wagner-Bartos ticket’s uniquely conservative ideas for the Commonwealth, after four years of unsigned budgets, tax increases and economic decline courtesy of Governor Tom Wolf, the duo also uniquely complement one another. It is clear to constituents who see the GOP pair interact that the two are great friends and share a mutual respect. This kind of alliance between Governor and Lieutenant Governor candidates is not something that Commonwealth voters saw during Governor Wolf’s election and tenure in the Governor’s mansion. Wolf and his Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack have never come across as dynamic as Wagner and Bartos do.”  (Townhall, 7/6/18)

Political Analyst, Charlie Gerow: “By contrast the Wagner/Bartos team that emerged from the Republican Party features two guys who are not only very comparable, but truly want to work together.” (PennLive,  5/20/18)


Townhall’s Reagan McCarthy: “Wagner opened the town hall by shredding Wolf’s policies, which once earned him the title of most liberal governor in America in 2015, that have stunted Pennsylvania’s economic growth and not allowed the Commonwealth to reach its full potential for job growth. The GOP candidate, a former state senator, saw first-hand just how devastating Wolf’s economic policies were to the average Pennsylvanian. In just one sentence, Wagner underscored just how different his administration’s economic policies would be than that of Governor Wolf: “I want to protect your paychecks,” the GOP candidate said.” (TownHall, 7/6/18)

Political Analyst, Farah Jimenez: “There are counties where the unemployment rate is far surpassing that nationally where people are really hurting, and they (Scott Wagner and Jeff Bartos) are showing that they have some empathy and some interest in helping them.” (ABC Philadelphia, 6/23/18)

The Allentown Morning Call: ‘“Wagner’s claims have put Wolf’s camp on the school-funding defensive …Wolf’s off-script comment about school funding gave Wagner the inroads to make the argument to rural voters that he would protect their schools.” (Allentown Morning Call, 7/12/18)


Political Analyst, Sam Katz: “It’s a smart move. That’s the first time I’ve seen a Republican candidate for governor, overtly, on television, try to connect with the Philadelphia voter.” (ABC Philadelphia, 6/23/18)

Political Analyst Farah Jimenez: “Knowing Wagner and Jeff Bartos, his running mate, that they are really people who are genuine, who really care about the community. And they are not using polls to determine whether or not to make these kinds of ads. They really do want to display that they have some empathy and concern and they want to make a difference in those communities where people are hurting and they continue to hurt.” (ABC Philadelphia, 6/23/18)

The Philadelphia Public Record’s Joe Shaheeli: “It is a different approach from the 2014 GOP gubernatorial candidate, Gov. Tom Corbett, who, although he was very approachable by Philadelphians in practice, spent little time addressing Philadelphia issues in his campaigns. Wagner has also picked up another cause dear to Philadelphian hearts: raising the minimum wage. While this matters to many Pennsylvanians statewide, it is of particular interest in a city with a high poverty rate. SB 865, proposed by Wagner, would increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $8.75 per hour in 50-cent increments over three years, but keep a training wage of $7.25 for everyone age 18 and below. It’s not as big an increase as what Democrats are calling for, but it takes a proactive stand on a subject in which hardcore conservatives have long resisted any change. Wagner’s attention to Philadelphia may reflect a pragmatic, non-doctrinaire approach to policy.” (Philadelphia Public Record, 6/21/18)

The Caucus’, Brad Bumsted, “If he (Wagner) would do this in almost every city around the state and go in and say, this is disgusting, I’m going to clean the park because no one else will, or here is a building that is dilapidated, I’m going to put my own money down and fix it up, it gets attention. People pay attention to that. They understand that.” (Journalists Roundtable, PCN, 6/16/18)


Steve Dillon, vice chairman of the county’s Republican Party, feels the ticket’s message can connect with many local voters, including conservative Democrats.” (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, 7/17/18)

Bea Turner of Worth Township came to the restaurant to show support for Wagner. “He is the epitome of what we want in a governor. He’s fiscally conservative and won’t waste money,” Turner said. “As a governor he would turn this state around the same way (President Donald) Trump is. He’s what I’ve been looking for since (Gov.) Dick Thornburgh.” Bill Adams, owner of Adams Manufacturing, also said Wagner’s conservative approach to spending is needed to avoid future debt… Bob Craig, the Central District chairman for the Butler County Republican Party, said he appreciated Wagner’s visit. “It’s wonderful. He gets deep in the trenches. There’s a lot of work to do, but he’s up to it,” Craig said. Will Matheny and his brother, Jake Matheny, got some help washing dishes from Wagner. “That was very nice of him. Very kind,” Will Matheny said. Restaurant owner Harold Brown said Wagner’s visit added some excitement to breakfast, which draws a big crowd every Saturday.” (Butler Eagle, 7/16/18)

“After the town hall ended, Helling said she appreciated Wagner offering some specifics” (Scranton Times-Tribune, 7/14/18)

Jeff Fox of Pen Argyl left the Republican Party in 2016 and urged the Republican candidates present Saturday — including Marty Nothstein, nominee for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 7th District — to focus on engaging conservative-leaning independents. Fox said he appreciated Wagner’s and Bartos’ emphasis on governance rather than partisan politics.” (Allentown Morning Call, 7/7/18)

“For republican voters in the region, Wagner’s tour through the region offered the opportunity to familiarize themselves with his stances and background. Bruce Stewart, chairman of the Monroe County Republican Committee, said he was excited to see the reaction from patrons at the diner. ‘This is great. (Wagner) is going to do some really good things for this area,’ Stewart said.”’ (Pocono Record, 7/7/18)

“As the crowd made their way out of the room, some stopped to pick up a Wagner- Bartos sticker or campaign yard sign. Several commented on Wagner’s business background as what impressed them the most.  ‘I think he was very passionate about what he is saying and I think he is excited to run for governor. He has a fantastic business background, which is what I think we need in Harrisburg right now,’ said Mike Dudziak of Silver Spring Township. Wagner and Bartos’ business success made Dawn Lush of Linglestown feel more trusting toward them, she said. Plus, Lush said, ‘Their enthusiasm and innovative thinking caught my attention. It’s not the same old rhetoric.’ Perry Shearertraveled from Abbottstown in Adams County to hear from Wagner, who he supported in the primary. ‘I like that he’s a business man. I’ve said for years this country and this state should be run by a businessman.”’  (PennLive, 7/5/18)

“Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner and his running mate Jeff Bartos were greeted by a cheering crowd as they made their way into a packed room on  the first stop on their town hall tour on Thursday night.” (PennLive, 7/5/18)

‘“I’m behind Sen. Wagner. I’m hopeful he will be our next governor,’ said Mario Mele, a Fort Washington insurance executive and former Montgomery County commissioner. ‘He’s knowledgeable. He knows Harrisburg. …He’s an honorable businessman, and that’s what we need.”’ (Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/2/18)

Pete Laurie, 89, a veteran of World War II and Korea, was at the diner with Phyllis Harrison, of Lackawanna County. They told Wagner they are voting for him. ‘We like his personality,’ Harrison said. “‘We think he will be a great governor. He’s for the people, especially senior citizens and veterans.”’ (Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 6/21/18)

Ron Beatty, a local business owner, said, ‘Scott’s very much like us. He’s a business owner, and he understands the difficulties of finding good help and having a good tax situation where we can run our businesses.”’ (Altoona Mirror, 6/30/18)