Gov. Tom Wolf wins re-election bid against Wagner

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf spent much of his time on the campaign trail sharing his desire to keep Pennsylvania on its current path, and he proudly said he now will be able to do so after winning his re-election bid against Republican Scott Wagner. 

As the projected election results were displayed on large screens in front of the crowd of hundreds packed into the York City venue The Bond on Tuesday, Nov. 6, attendees immediately erupted in cheers and applause.

Gov. Tom Wolf takes the stage to give a victory speech during the campaign's Election Night Party at the Bond in York City Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Wolf defeated challenger Scott Wagner to win a second term. Bill Kalina photo

"Four more years," Wolf and the crowd chanted in unison.

The outcome aligned with the election season's independent polling, all of which showed Wolf with a double-digit lead. On Tuesday, Wolf received 57.6 percent of the votes compared to Wagner's 40.8 percent.

Once he took the stage, Wolf raised his arms to the crowd and thanked the voters for opting for what he called a "bright future" for the state.

"Today, you voted for a public servant that actually has integrity, that you can trust to be confident and that you can trust to be honest," Wolf said. "Today, you have voted for a Pennsylvania that has a really bright future."

Echoing his campaign trail rhetoric, Wolf said now that he's re-elected, he plans to help Pennsylvania continue on the path it's currently on and keep working to get things done.

"What we're doing is continuing a really good journey toward a bright future that you deserve," he said. "We still have a lot of work to do, so let's get back to work."

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The Wolf campaign Deputy Communications Director Karissa Hand cheers returns during the Election Night Party at the Bond in York City Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Tom Wolf defeated challenger Scott Wagner to win a second term. Bill Kalina photo

Wagner concedes: An hour later, Wagner conceded during his watch party at York's Wyndham Garden Hotel in front of a crowd that also numbered in the hundreds.

The Republican admitted he "expected the outcome to be different." Earlier that day at the polls, he said he was confident he would come out victorious.

But after seeing the projected results, Wagner said he called Wolf to congratulate him and make one last plea to work toward reforming property taxes.

The former state senator from Spring Garden Township and owner of Penn Waste seemed more unruffled than voters had seen on the campaign trail, and he reflected on his campaign and the people he met along the way.

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Scott and Tracy Wagner thank their supporters after losing the PA governor race to incumbent Tom Wolf, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

"I've been around the state, and I've seen a lot of things and met a lot of people," Wagner said. "It's been a fighting journey. From the bottom of my heart, we love all of you."

Wagner said he wouldn't have changed a thing about the campaign, and he continuously praised his running mate, Jeff Bartos.

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But without going into more detail about his defeat, he left the audience with two notes: the state needs to keep moving forward, and he doesn't plan to go anywhere.

"Let's just keep forging forward," Wagner said. "I'm not going away; I'm going to take a vacation, though."

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.