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Wagner makes it official; wants Pa. governor postState senator declares candidacy at Wednesday-morning announcement

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York County State Sen. Scott Wagner officially announced his run for governor of Pennsylvania in 2018 on Wednesday.
York County State Sen. Scott Wagner officially announced his run for governor of Pennsylvania in 2018 on Wednesday. - (Photo / )

Saying he would "create a climate where businesses can grow," York County state Sen. Scott Wagner said Wednesday morning that he's running for governor of Pennsylvania in 2018.

"If you're truly fed up with Harrisburg and want real change, vote for me," Wagner said at an official announcement ceremony at his business, Penn Waste Inc. of Manchester, north of York.

The Republican candidate pledged to "change the status quo in Pennsylvania, jump-start the economy," and show the leadership that Wagner claimed has not been shown by current Gov. Tom Wolf, who was elected in 2014.

Wagner plans five more campaign announcement stops today and Thursday across the state: in Pipersville, Frackville, Altoona, Murrysville and Lake City.

Wagner represents the York-area 28th state senatorial district in Harrisburg.

"Pennsylvania desperately needs a governor who has extensive leadership skills and knows how to run a business," he said.

Wagner was elected to the state Senate in early 2014, making him, he said, the first write-in candidate to win a seat in that chamber.

Since going to the capital, "I have seen how out-of-control and dysfunctional Harrisburg really is. When I went to Harrisburg in 2014, I knew things would be bad, and trust me, folks, they're much worse than I envisioned," he said.

Wagner was critical of Wolf, a Democrat, accusing him of being "the guardian of special-interest groups in Harrisburg."

A few hundred people, from Wagner family members and Penn Waste employees to members of the news media, attended the state senator's announcement.

In advance of Wagner’s event Wednesday morning, about a dozen furloughed workers from Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation call centers and members of a service employees union protested nearby.

They gathered in a parking lot near the Penn Waste complex to protest “Wagner’s leading role in shutting the centers down,” according to Diane Bowman, communications director for Service Employees International Union 668.

“This move not only led to the furlough of state workers, but has left tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians in the private sector in a lurch,” Bowman said in a news release. SEIU, which represents nearly 80,000 members statewide, ran information on the protest on Twitter.

Inside the Penn Waste building, Lowman Henry, chairman and CEO of the Harrisburg-based Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, said he feels that Wagner, as governor, would have the skills needed to help businesses statewide.

"The most important thing for our next governor is to get Pennsylvania's economic climate to a point where businesses can grow and create jobs," Henry said.

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David O'Connor

David O'Connor

Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @DaveOC_CPBJ.

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