Wolf leads in campaign funds
HARRISBURG — Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf began June with a nearly 10-to-1 cash advantage over Republican challenger Scott Wagner in Wolf’s bid for a second term in November, according to new campaign finance reports filed ahead of Thursday evening’s deadline.
With five months until the Nov. 6 election, Wolf reported $15.2 million in his campaign account as of June 4, while Wagner reported $1.6 million in his.
Wagner won last month’s three-way Republican primary, outspending his nearest rival by nearly $7 million. Wolf had no primary opponent.
Wagner, who is his biggest campaign donor, declined through a spokesman Friday to say whether he will contribute more of his own money to his general election campaign.
Wagner, who held a York County seat in the state Senate for four years before resigning earlier this month, owns the $75 million waste-hauler Penn Waste Inc.
All told, Wagner and his two primary rivals, Paul Mango and Laura Ellsworth, spent more than $21 million in the primary. Including non-cash contributions of services or goods, they rang up more than $23.5 million, including $14.5 million by Wagner.
Wagner is easily his biggest donor, at about $11 million, including loans, donations of services and investment gains on campaign cash.
In the most recent five-week reporting period, Wagner raised about $1.2 million. About half of it came from investment gains. John Arnold, chairman of Petroleum Products Corp. in suburban Harrisburg, contributed another $250,000.
Wagner spent $1.8 million, mostly for TV ads, and tallied another $331,000 in non-cash contributions, including Republican Party mailers and things like air travel and lodging expenses that Wagner contributed.
Labor unions are a big source of cash for Wolf, and they came through again for him in the five-week period. Wolf raised nearly $2.3 million, including about $970,000 from labor unions including Service Employees International Union, the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He reported spending $1.1 million, mostly for TV ads.
Wolf, who ran his family-owned cabinet and furniture distributor for three decades before taking office in 2015, gave
$10 million of his own money to his first campaign. He has said he will not contribute his own money to his re-election campaign.