Democrat Tom Wolf was elected as governor of Pennsylvania Tuesday, becoming the first gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania to knock an incumbent out of office since a constitutional change in 1968 allowed governors to run for a second term.
Wolf defeated incumbent Tom Corbett by 10 points and almost 350,000 votes, getting support from minorities and those under 65, according to exit polls conducted by NBC News. The polls showed that the only majorities Corbett received were with those over 65 and white males, with 53 and 52 percent voting for him, respectively.
The Wolf-Corbett race was the highest-costing gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania history, with records available on election day showing both candidates having spent $73 million, according to NBC News. Wolf spent $10 million of his personal cash on an early television ad campaign.
While exit polls said that a majority of Pennsylvania voters’ view of the Republican Party was unfavorable, the GOP gained three seats in the State House and eight seats in the State Senate, strengthening their already existing majorities in the legislature. This sets up an interesting system in Pennsylvania, with the legislative branch and executive branch seated by different parties.
Wolf said the issue he plans to focus on the most during his time in office is education.
“We need to be sure we resurrect that idea and make sure education is at the top of the list and not the bottom,” Wolf said in his victory speech on election night.
He said he is optimistic about the future of Pennsylvania under his leadership.
“Let’s make this the time, let’s make this the place, Pennsylvania, let’s us be the people to actually create this bright future we deserve, let’s make this the time, let’s get started,” Wolf said.