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W he n voters head to the polls today in Pennsylv ania, they have the chance to make history. Since Pennsylvania changed its laws in 1968 to allow governors to serve two terms , no incumbent governor has lost a re-election bid . Today, Gov. Tom Corbett could, and should, be the first.

We, the Penn Democrats, endorse Tom Wolf for governor. Today, it’s time to cast your ballot for a fresh start.

Gov. Corbett is extremely unpopular, and for good reason. In addition to insulting women, the LGBT community, Latinos and unemployed Pennsylvanians with insensitive and outrageous comments, Corbett has slashed education spending and failed to boost job growth. He has neglected to lay out a vision for the state and has struggled to get legislation passed, even with Republican control of both houses of the state legislature, because he cannot even work with members of his own party. In light of Corbett’s failed leadership, Pennsylvanians should resoundingly reject his bid for a second term.

Luckily, however, voters need not merely vote against the past four years. They can go to the polls and vote for the future. Tom Wolf, whom President Bill Clinton called “the best candidate for governor in America,” offers the chance for a new, progressive direction for Pennsylvania.

Tom Wolf truly is, as his campaign has said, “a different kind of leader” who has taken an unusual path to becoming the Democratic nominee for governor. He received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth, a master’s degree from the University of London and a doctorate from MIT . In the midst of his undergraduate studies, he took a leave from school to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in India, where he helped rural villagers with agricultural and irrigation projects .

After finishing his award-winning dissertation at MIT , he was offered a tenure-track position at Harvard, but he chose instead to return to York to work at his family business, which he eventually bought and built into a major national company . In 2006, Wolf sold his business and accepted the position of Secretary of Revenue under Gov. Ed Rendell . He served for two years and donated his salary to charity .

Wolf planned to run for governor in 2010, but when the economy collapsed in 2008, his old family business suffered and was in danger of bankruptcy. Wolf put aside his personal ambitions and repurchased the business, investing his own money to save the jobs of his former employees. He redeveloped the company and guided it to success once again, and today he shares 20 to 30 percent of profits with his employees . Having rescued his company, Wolf felt it was finally the right time for him to run for governor .

While Wolf’s character and credentials are impressive and laudable, he also has a strong vision for Pennsylvania. Wolf — who has seen firsthand that paying employees livable wages and earning profits are not mutually exclusive goals — supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour . He supports a Pennsylvania DREAM Act, which would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to attend state universities with in-state prices . He supports taxing natural gas drilling and using that new revenue to increase education funding . He supports expanding Medicaid to cover 500,000 uninsured, lower-income Pennsylvanians . He also supports enacting an anti-discrimination law that would protect LGBT individuals .

In short, Tom Wolf stands for progress. Throughout his life, Wolf has shown that he is a principled, community-oriented and strong leader who has excelled in both the private and public sectors. Under his leadership, Pennsylvania will move forward.

Today, we encourage you to vote blue — for Tom Wolf and for other Democrats. Last week on Locust Walk, we had a “Why We Vote Blue” event , where students stopped to express why they will be voting blue today. We built an incredible list of reasons: protecting reproductive rights, ensuring a quality education for every child, guaranteeing access to affordable health care, preventing gun violence and recognizing equal rights for all .

If you share any of these concerns, if you want Pennsylvania to be a place of equality and opportunity, make sure to have your voice heard today and make sure to vote blue. Let’s elect Tom Wolf and other Democrats to mov e Pennsylvania forw ard.

Penn Democrats is a student-run political organization dedicated to promoting progressive political values on and off campus through dialogue and action. They can be reached at

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