Tom Wolf is the Governor of Pennsylvania. He is an excellent example of someone who found success in business before seeking another kind of success in politics. However, it should be mentioned that his gubernatorial campaign in 2014 was not Wolf’s first venture in this regard.
1. His Hometown Was Named for His Ancestor
Wolf was born in the borough of Mount Wolf in York County, PN. Said borough was named for his ancestor George H. Wolf, who served as both a postmaster and a stationmaster on top of being a local store and warehouse owner.
2. Raised Methodist But Now a Member of the Episcopal Church
Religion-wise, Wolf was raised as a Methodist. For those who are unfamiliar, Methodism started out as a revival movement within the Church of England. However, it went on to become a separate denomination before spreading throughout the British Empire. With that said, Wolf is now a member of the Episcopal Church, which is another denomination that can trace its roots to the Church of England. In its case, the Church of England in the American colonies found itself in a very awkward position with the outbreak of the American Revolution. Those who chose the United States over Great Britain transformed themselves into what would becom known as the Episcopal Church.
3. Studied Political Science
It seems safe to say that Wolf has been interested in politics for a very long time. After all, he earned a B.A. in government at Dartmouth College, which was followed by a M.Phil. at the University of London and then a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By all accounts, Wolf excelled in academia, so much so that he was invited to interview for a tenure-track faculty position at Harvard University.
4. Spent Some Time in the Peace Corps
When Wolf was still a student at Dartmouth College, he signed up for the Peace Corps. In short, the Peace Corps is a U.S.-run volunteer program that serves two aims. One, it provides technical assistance in foreign countries for the purpose of promoting social as well as economic development. Two, it improves the United States’s reputation in the world by building ties with the people in foreign countries. In Wolf’s case, he spent his time in India.
5. Managed a True Value Hardware Store
Rather than Harvard University, Wolf chose to manage a True Value hardware store in Manchester, PA. This can be considered a kind of apprenticeship, seeing as how the store was owned by his family’s building products distributorship called the Wolf Organization. In the mid 1980s, he and a couple of cousins followed through with their family tradition by buying the company from the older generation.
6. Repurchased the Wolf Organization
In 2006, Wolf made the choice to sell all but 11 percent of his interest in the Wolf Organization before becoming the Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania under Governor Ed Rendell. He considered running for the position of Governor of Pennsylvania in 2010. However, Wolf gave up on that idea so that he could repurchase the Wolf Organization, which was facing bankruptcy at that time. After which, he ran the company as the CEO until December of 2013 when he stepped down so that he could run for the position of Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014. In fact, Wolf isn’t even on the Board of Directors for the Wolf Organization anymore because he stepped down from there as well when he won the gubernatorial election.
7. Big Believer in Funding for Education
On the whole, Wolf has proven himself to be a big believer in funding for education. This can be seen in his support for increasing funding for schools as well as raising salaries for teachers. In any case, funding for education is one of those things that provide a wide range of benefits for individuals as well as the whole of society. After all, more education has been linked with everything from better health outcomes and better economic prospects to reduced crime and reduced poverty, each of which has a strong connection with human well-being.
8. Supports Making It Easier for Ex-Cons to Get Jobs
Wolf is also a supporter of making it easier for ex-cons to get jobs, which makes a lot of sense. Basically, the ideal outcome is for ex-cons to stay out of prison once they have served their time. However, if ex-cons don’t have a way to support themselves, the chances of them winding up back in prison shoot up. Making it easier for ex-cons to get jobs is the simplest and most straightforward solution for the problem of recidivism, which might be great for private prisons but is very much not so for individuals, for communities, and for society as a whole.
9. Has Launched a Campaign to Spread Awareness of Sexual Assault
In 2016, Wolf announced the launch of a campaign to spread awareness of sexual assault in schools as well as on college campuses. Said campaign was a collaboration between a wide range of groups that included schools, law enforcement agencies, and victim services organizations. Funding was provided for various programs that ranged from those meant to inform students about the resources available to them to those meant to set up new mechanisms for anonymous reporting.
10. Has Signed a Disaster Emergency Declaration
A short while ago, Wolf was still talking about his state’s plans for reopening as well as other COVID-19-related matters. However, recent events have prompted a change of focus. Wolf has stated that he supports Pennsylvanians protesting the killing of George Floyd as well as other examples of police brutality. However, that doesn’t extend to the outbreaks of violence and looting among these protests. As such, he has signed a disaster emergency declaration to provide assistance for the municipal governments where the protests are happening. Furthermore, he has authorized the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to direct emergency operations in the affected counties.