Margaret Thatcher is quoted as saying she found it "passionately interesting" that the things she learned in a small town were the things she believed had won her election.

A potential future governor of Pennsylvania might be able to add to that quote someday.

Across York County, Mount Wolf native Tom Wolf's local connections and small-town demeanor won him favor Tuesday, according to interviews at polls.

Voters who weren't Mount Wolf natives said their votes came on good authority from someone who was. Voters who didn't know Wolf directly said they knew someone who did, and those endorsements drove votes.

"My wife knows him personally," said West Manchester Township voter Jeffrey Mummert, 32. "She grew up and went to school with his daughters at Northeastern. He's good people."

Mummert said he listens when his wife gives him advice on childcare and financial matters, and he listened when she told the new Democrat he should vote for Wolf.

He might have arrived there anyway, he said, because Wolf's participation in mainstream York County shows good character. The candidate is vested in the community, and he wants to see it succeed for future generations, Mummert said.

"He could've afforded to send those two girls to private school, but he didn't," Mummert said. "He sent them to Northeastern, and they turned out great."

In West York, lifelong Democrat Carolyn Fields, 65, said she attended public high school with Wolf, who was one year ahead.

"He just seemed like a nice guy," she said. "He doesn't seem to put people down."


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She said Wolf, the millionaire owner of the York-based Wolf Organization who still lives in the house to which he was brought home from the hospital as a baby, "doesn't act like a rich person."

The West York woman said she was disappointed when Wolf's opponents, particularly state treasurer Rob McCord, ran negative ads against the local man.

"I'm glad Tom didn't go that way," she said. "I didn't expect him to, but you never know."

Negative ads also turned off Linda Little, 59, of West Manchester Township.

"Tom seems down-to-earth, and I have heard very little mud-slinging from him," she said.

Resisting local: While the York County Department of Elections and Voter Registration logged many registration shifts as Republicans switched to Democratic to vote for Wolf, the local ties and the down-home persona only went so far with voters.

"I vote according to my beliefs of proper government," said West Manchester GOP voter Shane Speal. "I can't get involved in local-boy hero status. When he wins, he won't even be a Yorker anymore. He'll be another Harrisburg politician."

Republican Jay Partner, 67, said he voted for Gov. Tom Corbett in the primary, but he'll give Wolf a chance to win his vote in November.

"I want to learn more about Tom," he said. "I've only lived in (York) for 12 years, and I never knew who he was."

— Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.