Businessman Tom Wolf has snagged the deputy executive director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party for his 2014 gubernatorial primary campaign.
Mark Nicastre, who has headed communications strategy for the party since August 2010, is slated to begin with the Wolf campaign next Monday.
“In Tom's experience in both the private and public sectors he has shown he is a different type of leader,” Nicastre said Friday in a statement. “His vision to change Pennsylvania and fresh policy ideas will make him a strong governor, and I look forward to working with him.”
Wolf has run his family’s building-supplies company, guiding its recovery from the housing-triggered recession of 2008. He also was the state revenue secretary for former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.
Wolf, who has pledged to spend up to $10 million of his own fortune to run for governor, is part of a crowded eight person field, including U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord, and former state environmental official Katie McGinty, competing for the chance to challenge a vulnerable Gov. Tom Corbett.
Corbett received more bad news earlier this week in the Franklin & Marshall Poll, which found 20 percent of registered voters thought he deserved a second term and Republican respondents almost evenly split on whether he should run again.
“This is a terrific hire for the Wolf campaign,” said Kevin Washo, former executive director of the state party, who supervised Nicastre. “I can say with confidence that very few people get the dynamics of this governor’s race more than Mark…It was only a matter of time before someone wanted to secure his expertise.”
Earlier, Nicastre served as spokesman for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s reelection campaign in 2012, and was communications director for a member of the U.S. House from New Mexico.