John Hanger, former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Resources, has endorsed Tom Wolf for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Mr. Hanger, who ended his own campaign for governor earlier this year, said he had decided to back the York businessman because, “He will be the great, transformational governor Pennsylvanians need so desperately right now.’’
Mr. Hanger’s short-lived campaign was praised for its detailed focus on issues but failed to gain much traction in the polls. He had calculated that his underfunded campaign could prevail by winning a plurality in a splintered field. But he said at the time he dropped out that the Wolf’s early surge had left him without a realistic path to victory. Mr. Hanger attracted attention of his call to legalize and tax marijuana. His outspokenness on that issue helped prod the rest of the Democratic field to move toward backing various degrees of decriminalization of the drug’s recreational use in addition to supporting medical marijuana.
In a statement released by the Wolf campaign, he said, “I also endorse Tom Wolf because he has run a positive campaign that has consistently discussed the issues that matter to our future.’’
You can read the full Hanger statement after the jump.
In these times, when many leaders of all types of institutions too often use their power to benefit themselves and use fear to divide, Tom Wolf stands out as a leader dedicated to the people and the common good. Tom leads not by appealing to the worst in humanity but by unleashing the good in all of us to serve higher purposes.
Tom, however, is no dreamer. He is a doer.
Tom has created jobs and paychecks and he has done so the right way, sharing profits and developing his own line of Wolf-branded products made right here in America. Tom's expertise in manufacturing is crucial to the future of Pennsylvania. Even as Tom dealt with the pressures of turning around his business, Tom has treated workers and customers generously. Remarkably, as special as his business leadership is, Tom is much more than a business leader.
Even though he could have easily turned away, Tom Wolf for decades has run toward the struggles of our communities and families. I know so because I have known Tom Wolf for more than 10 years. Tom has tackled some of the most difficult issues, including urban redevelopment, tax policy, and education. When doing so, he always gave his time, money and powerful ideas to help the vulnerable, disadvantaged, or marginalized.
The people of Pennsylvania are right to see in Tom Wolf a unique, special leader who is devoted to others more than himself. He has proven his selflessness and care for people - which is the highest quality of great leadership - in many big and small ways.
Tom's success in this campaign surprises and mystifies some people, but that success has a simple explanation. The people of Pennsylvania correctly judge that Tom Wolf offers the intelligent, caring leadership that Pennsylvanians crave. Tom and his message resonate powerfully with people all across the Commonwealth.
Tom's combination of true leadership, intelligence, and progressive plans means that he will be the great and transformational governor that Pennsylvania needs desperately right now so that the people can create more and better jobs and save our schools. Tom Wolf also will bring forth a new birth of freedom by protecting every Pennsylvanians right to vote, supporting marriage equality, fighting prejudice and discrimination, and by reforming marijuana laws. And Tom will restore integrity to the Governor's office by banning the taking of gifts of all types.
I strongly, enthusiastically endorse Tom Wolf, because he will be the great, transformational governor Pennsylvanians need so desperately right now! Tom will be a governor for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and national origin.
I also endorse Tom Wolf because he has run a positive campaign that has consistently discussed the issues that matter to our future. Importantly, Tom has never forgotten that Tom Corbett must be defeated, no matter whom is the Democratic nominee.
Finally, I came to America in 1970 as a 12-year-old boy and became a citizen in 1977. For the last 37 years, I have had the right to vote. On May 20th, I will cast my vote for Tom Wolf, and I have never been more excited to vote for a candidate. Please join me in voting for Tom Wolf on May 20th and then again this November.