State Rep. Evans endorses Wolf for governor

FILE - Tom Wolf (pictured here) has been endorsed by State Rep. Dwight Evans. ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer, File )

State Rep. Dwight Evans, the powerful Philadelphia Democrat, has endorsed businessman Tom Wolf in the party’s primary for governor.

The two men met in West Oak Lane Thursday for a luncheon with about 150 people and then Evans toured Wolf around the neighborhood, which has been buffed and polished by Evans’ non-profit Ogontz Development Corp.

Evans and Wolf said they have known each other for two decades, having served together on an education-reform panel; then worked together as Wolf got into the non-profit community development game in his hometown of York; and finally worked closely on state budget policy while Wolf was state revenue secretary under Gov. Rendell.

“We need a governor who understands the economy and economic fairness,” Evans said in an interview.  “Of all the candidates, he’s the only one who has gone from driving a forklift to CEO of the company.”

Wolf purchased his family building supplies company, sold it to go into politics, and then got back in when the recession hit. He is credited with saving the company, and is also known for sharing its net profits with company employees.

“Dwight Evans rebuilt his community….that’s the kind of governor I want to be,” Wolf said.

The representative also knows his way around Philadelphia ward politics, a likely help to the York-based candidate.

Wolf has the most campaign cash of the eight Democrats in the primary field; he and his wife contributed $10 million, but he also has raised about $3.2 million from other donors.

He faces U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord, former environmental protection secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Cumberland County preacher Max Myers and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.