Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wagner to Step Down from State Senate Lawmaker to Focus on Race for Governorship

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wagner to Step Down from State Senate Lawmaker to Focus on Race for Governorship

Article excerpt

HARRISBURG -Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner will resign his seat in the state Senate next week to focus on his attempt to take Gov. Tom Wolf's job.

Mr. Wagner, a millionaire businessman and owner of a York-based trash hauling company, submitted his resignation letter Wednesday to Senate President Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson. He said his last day in the Senate will be Monday, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Inquirer.

Mr. Wagner could not be reached for comment. But in a statement, campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo said: "Scott realizes that the way he can bring about the most change and do the most good for the commonwealth is to devote all his time and energy toward getting elected governor and giving Pennsylvanians a different choice."

Mr. Wagner, said Mr. Romeo, will give a farewell speech on the Senate floor when the chamber returns to session Monday.

Mr. Wagner, a self-described Capitol outsider and fiscal conservative who often draws comparisons to President Donald Trump, beat two challengers in this month's primary to take on Mr. Wolf, a Democrat, in the November election.

Since announcing his candidacy in 2016, Mr. Wagner has tried to paint Mr.Wolf as a tax-and-spend liberal who lacks the leadership skills to get important work done in the Capitol.

Mr. Wolf's campaign supporters have countered with attacks on both Mr. Wagner's policies and temperament, calling him a bully with no experience in governing. Mr. Wolf, they say, has been able to work with the Republican-dominated Legislature to push through major initiatives, including providing more money for public schools, breaking the state-run monopoly on the sale of wine, and legalizing medical marijuana.

Political observers say the Wolf-Wagner matchup will be bruising and expensive. Both men are wealthy and able to use their own money to finance their campaigns. …

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