State Senator Scott Wagner’s bid for 2018 Pennsylvania Governor

Ethan Sniderman, Reporter

2016 saw one of the most heated Presidential Elections is the United States’ history, splitting people down to their party lines. After the election all eyes turned to the 2018 midterm election where Democrats will be trying to take back the majority in congress and Republicans attempting to grow their ever so slim lead.

There are no candidates running for president, but that does not mean there isn’t anything to pay attention to. Across the country, senators, congressmen and women, and members of state legislature will being running for a seat in their respective areas.

Most of these elections are overlooked; however, an election for governor will occur across 36 states and three territories. This election will occur on November 6, 2018. Current Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (Democrat) will be seeking reelection after his 2014 win over incumbent Tom Corbett (Republican).

State Senator Scott Wagner is the current front runner for the Republican nomination for this election.

2016 was undoubtedly a politically charged year for the United States and was deemed a major upset by political analysts when President Donald Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

State Senator Scott Wagner speaks during a session of the Pennsylvania Senate Local Government Committee. Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is running against incumbent Governor Tom Wolf. (Scott Wagner via Twitter)

Despite the close election Pennsylvania experienced in 2016 with 48.8% for Trump and 47.6% for Clinton, Wagner does not worry that Pennsylvania will see a large Democratic voter turnout in his election.

“At the end of the day,” Wagner said, “people looking for better jobs and a better life are Democrats and Republicans, and I’m appealing to everyone.”

Like all political campaigns, Wagner tries to appeal to a wide swath of voters. Political campaigns try to reach out to eligible voters, however, some feel that those same campaigns may overlook non-eligible voters, specifically teens. Many organizations such as the National Youth Rights Organizations believe that the voting age in the United States should be lowered.

Wagner does not believe in lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 years old. Wagner’s concern stemmed from a teacher’s impact on young students.

“I think that there is too much influence that is taking place in public school by teachers,” said Wagner. “There are currently teachers in high schools who are putting anti-Trump stuff on blackboards, and it’s not a place where I think political lobbying should be taking place.”

Along with not supporting a lowered voting age, Wagner believes that driving age for Pennsylvanians should be left alone. Wagner pointed his concerns to the amount of deaths from teen drivers on the road today

“There is way too much distraction happening with younger drivers and text messaging taking place with cellphones,” said Wagner, “If you go back and do research on traffic deaths in the country, there are a lot of young people and distracted drivers.”

Teenagers all over the world are preparing to enter the adult world, however the actions of their predecessors may affect the world that they inherit. Among those concerns rest Earth’s climate and environment. Across the globe agencies such as Greenpeace, Global Green Growth Institute, and the Union of Concerned Scientist worry that the Earth’s climate may be affected for future generations.

“I consider myself an active environmentalist… I think we are doing a lot of things people don’t recognize and give businesses and organizations credit for,” said Wagner, “There are a lot of good things we’re doing now environmentally, and I think that we just need to continue those…”

Recently devastating hurricanes have continued to the rampage the United States and cause major destruction in their wake.

In response to offering aid to areas that have been affected by the hurricanes Wagner said, “You have to look at the situation that took place. If there is an opportunity to send state-owned equipment down such as the National Guard… and you have to look at the disaster to see what you could do to help.”

In August 2017, Charlottesville, VA, saw a very divisive Unite The Right rally, in which a large group of alt-right protesters opposed the removal of a statue featuring a Confederate General. The protest turned violent when a member of the protesters drove a car into a crowd of people killing one and injuring 19 others. The protest garnered large media attention and left many to worrying if this could happen in their own town.

Responding to the hypothetical situation that this happens in PA, Wagner said “If I knew as governor, if something like Charlottesville would happen in Pennsylvania, I would be in front with that group to find out what we could do to accomplish having their rights be preserved, without having something that could turn into a violent situation,” Wagner continued, “You have to have someone to go out and sit down with these people and go: Listen this is not the time and place.”

The driving question behind every election, interview and debate, no matter how cliche is most commonly: What makes you different from the people you’re running against?

For Senator Wagner, it came down to life experience, stating the key differences between him and Governor Wolf was their background. “[Governor Wolf] came from very well to do family, he went to college and got all of his degrees, and then went into the Peace Corps,” said Wagner, “He was the non-profit face of the company.” Wagner got started his venture into the business world by himself  “I started from scratch, in the beginning I was everything…”said Wagner.

November 6, 2018 will hold Pennsylvania’s Gubernatorial election along with dozens of other states. Early forecast predict that the Governor’s seat is not safe for any one party, especially in Pennsylvania.