Gubernatorial hopeful tours Pittston Twp. company

Last updated: August 04. 2014 11:14PM - 1589 Views
By Bill O’Boyle boboyle@civitasmedia.com

Interstate Window & Door Co. owner Joe Pupa shows Tom Wolf, Democratic candidate for governor, a photograph of a building his company worked on during a visit by the candidate on Monday.
Interstate Window & Door Co. owner Joe Pupa shows Tom Wolf, Democratic candidate for governor, a photograph of a building his company worked on during a visit by the candidate on Monday.
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PITTSTON TWP. — Tom Wolf continued his campaign for the governor’s seat Monday with another stop in Northeastern Pennsylvania to bolster his plan to increase manufacturing in the Keystone State.

Wolf, the Democratic candidate trying to unseat Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in November, was at Interstate Window & Door Co. in Pittston Township to pay a customer a visit.

“I’m here to send the same message about manufacturing,” Wolf said. “Every time I visit a business like this I learn more about what we need to do in Pennsylvania. And we can do it. We can make things that are tailor-made to specifications. You can’t do that if you are far away”

According to information supplied by the Wolf campaign, Interstate Building Materials is the largest window and door manufacturer in the mid-Atlantic region. The candidate’s company — The Wolf Organization — supplied Interstate Building Materials with “quick ship” kitchen & bath cabinets from the mid 1990s to 2010.

Currently, Wolf supplies Interstate with various types of PVC boards and trim and TruExterior Board (formally called Boral Board), for use in both Interstate’s window & door manufacturing and building materials divisions.

Just two weeks ago Wolf was at Mountain Productions in Wilkes-Barre to talk about the importance of manufacturing. Wolf said then and again Monday that he firmly believes that American workers can produce goods that compete on both price and quality “with anybody making anything anywhere in the world.”

His company headquarters and distribution center are both located in York. Wolf said all is products are made in the United States, with several of them manufactured in Pennsylvania.

Joe Pupa, owner of Interstate, said the company was founded in 1938 and now employs about 100 people. He said he has another location in Pittston Township on Laurel Street.

“We’re thrilled to have Tom Wolf visit us,” Pupa said. “He’s is also a supplier of ours. Our relationship with Tom’s company dates back many years.

Pupa said his company had some struggles in recent years, but came through and is doing well now. He said he is considering adding on to his building, located near the Kmart on the Pittston By-pass, to allow for some expansion.

GOP responds

Megan Sweeney, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, said Wolf’s company outsourced the majority of the company’s products to other states.

“Before he ran for governor, Wolf even bragged about his out-of-state locations on his business’ website.,” Sweeney said. “Why did Tom Wolf choose to make most of his company’s products in other states if he was so committed to Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry? What did Tom Wolf hope to gain from shipping jobs to other states?”

Wolf has come under attack in recent ads for Corbett, but Wolf sort of laughed them off.

“It’s ridiculous already,” he said. “I haven’t done this (run for office) before, but I guess he (Corbett) feels it’s what he has to do. I guess he can’t run on his record, so he feels he has to attack mine.”

While Wolf maintains a significant lead in the latest polls, there has been a little narrowing. From now through November, both candidates are expected to spend million of dollars in the campaign.

“I’m raising money,” Wolf said. “I’m sure I will be able to spend as much as my opponent.”

NEPA key

Wolf has been spending a lot of time in Northeastern Pennsylvania. With a heavy Democratic edge in voter registrations in Luzerne and Lackawanna County, Wolf feels the region is key to his chances of winning.

“It’s huge,” Wolf said of the region. “No doubt about it, Northeastern Pennsylvania is big for me.”

Wolf, 65 of York County, said coming to this area is kind of like being at home for him.

“I have a lot of good supporters up here,” he said.

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