Prominent York County businessman Tom Wolf could be among the Democratic challengers to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014.
The CEO of York-based Wolf Organization said in November that he was considering a run, but he's recently upgraded the possibility to "very likely."
Earlier saying he wanted to make sure his wholesale building supply company could thrive without him, the 64-year-old Mount Wolf man said Tuesday that business is good and he's "more certain" he'll make a candidacy announcement in March.
While he hasn't hired a campaign staff, Wolf said he's engaged in discussions within the political community and will probably pull from a crew he compiled when he considered a run for governor in 2009.
Though Wolf's name was among those floated after some politicos interpreted the Democratic-dominated 2012 election results as an indication of Corbett's unpopularity, Wolf said he's "not much for handicapping ... I think I can do a great job as governor."
"I'm tired of politics on automatic pilot, and we deserve better than this," he said. "There are lots of opportunities, just like turning this company around. There's good bones, good fundamental features. But I think the mantra right now is, 'Don't do anything and let's just drift along.'"
York County Democratic Party chair Bob Kefauver said Wolf would bring a fresh perspective and valuable experience to the governor's office.
In addition to running his business, Wolf has a Ph.D. and an Ivy League education, with degrees from Dartmouth College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of London, Kefauver said. Wolf also served in the Peace Corps.
"He's both a business leader and has a lifetime of community service at the core of who he is," Kefauver said. "Running for governor for Mr. Wolf is just an extension of that desire to serve the greater public good."
Already having served as Secretary of Revenue under the Gov. Ed Rendell administration, Wolf has contacts and previous experience that could help him carry the state, he said.
Kefauver said he's not aware of other York County Democrats considering a run.
Bob Wilson, chairman of the county's Republican Party, said he's fully supporting the incumbent but wishes Wolf luck.
"He's been out of the spotlight for a number of years, and I don't even know that he has the name recognition across the state to carry him across the finish line," Wilson said.
Wilson said he's not aware of any Republican primary challengers from York County.
York County businessman Penn Waste owner Scott Wagner has been publicly critical of Corbett and said in November he was considering a run. But Wagner said Tuesday he has decided to maintain sole focus on his business and, though he's furious that Corbett hasn't responded to his thoughtfully worded letters, he might still support Corbett's re-election.
"But if things don't change in Harrisburg in the next six-to-eight months, I will not support Tom Corbett," he said.
Corbett could still face a same-party challenger, as Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor has said he's considering a run.
On the Democratic side, former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger and Cumberland County pastor Max Meyers have announced they'll run.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.