PLAINS TWP. — GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner said his opponent can spend all the money he wants on television ads.
Wagner prefers to meet people face to face and listen to their concerns.
That’s why Wagner, 62, of York County, believes he can beat incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf in November.
Wagner was at D’s Diner in Plains Township on Thursday, shaking hands and talking issues with customers before he left for a political clambake and a RailRiders game. Wagner also intended to drive by the Arena Hub Plaza and other businesses damaged by last week’s tornado.
“Bob Tambur is a friend,” Wagner said, referring to the man who developed the Arena Hub Plaza, now owned and operated by Tambur’s son, Robert Tamburro, trustee and general partner of TFP Limited.
Pete Laurie, 89, a veteran of World War II and Korea, was at the diner with Phyllis Harrison, of Lackawanna County. They told Wagner they are voting for him.
“We like his personality,” Harrison said. “We think he will be a great governor. He’s for the people, especially senior citizens and veterans.”
Wagner said he learned of D’s Diner from his wife, Tracy, who read “The Great Revolt,” a book written by Salena Zito and Brad Todd. Daniel DeMellier, one of the owners of D’s Diner, said Zito was at the diner and came away impressed — so much so, that a page-and-a-half of her book is dedicated to that visit.
“When my wife told me about D’s, I decided I had to come here,” Wagner said.
Wagner sat in a booth with Mary McLaughlin, of Trucksville, and her two sons, Roman, 6, and Tobin, 4. Wagner gave each boy a “Scott Wagner for Governor” hat and told them to finish their macaroni and cheese.
“We talked about property taxes and the economy,” McLaughlin said.
When Wagner placed the hats on the boys’ heads, he turned to the media and joked, “These guys are going to vote for me in Philadelphia.”
Wagner did address the media for a few minutes. He said the main issues on the minds of the voters he’s talked to are jobs, the economy, school taxes, the opioid crisis and education.
“Gov. Wolf has been in office three-and-a-half years and what has he really done?” Wagner asked. “People are looking for a change. That’s why I’m here to listen to the people. You won’t ever see Tom Wolf at D’s Diner.”
He also indicated he expects this area to play a huge role in the general election.
“I’m going to win,” Wagner said. “Luzerne and Lackawanna counties will be the deciding factor in this race. I’ll win because I will outwork the governor.”
Wolf camp responds
Beth Melena, communications director for the Wolf campaign, issued this statement:
“Scott Wagner is the very worst of Harrisburg. He consistently puts lobbyists and special interests over hard-working Pennsylvanians. He’s leading the charge to block a commonsense severance tax to protect big oil and gas companies and wants to let corporations avoid paying their fair share of taxes at the expense of Pennsylvanians.”
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.