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Tom Wolf wins the Pennsylvania govenorship but faces a tough road ahead

Congratulations to Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. For a novitiate politician, the York Democrat, 65, a onetime state Revenue secretary, ran a surprisingly flawless campaign in defeating Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, the far more seasoned pol.

That is not an endorsement of the campaign’s content, which we sometimes found misleading. Rather it is an appreciation of the execution of the mechanics. After all, it’s the first time an incumbent Pennsylvania governor has been defeated.

But if Mr. Wolf is to have any success with the GOP-controlled Legislature, he and his aides will have to be equally masterful. For he will find little common ground with the House or Senate.

While Wolf could find a sympathetic ear among some Eastern Senate Republicans for his proposed 5 percent severance tax on shale gas — a shortsighted proposal, ostensibly to better fund public education but sure to do more harm than good — agreements to overhaul the commonwealth’s troubled public employee pension system or its archaic liquor monopoly will be hard to come by.

Wolf’s victory came a day after Site Selection magazine delivered sobering news that Pennsylvania is not among its top 25 states for business climate. The governor-elect dismissed “trickle-down economics” in his campaign. But to find any successes with the Legislature — and for the economy — Tom Wolf will have to temper his proclivity for “government-down economics.”


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