Wolf keeps big lead over Wagner in campaign cash

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in Philadelphia, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania candidates in Philadelphia, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf still holds a big lead in fundraising over his Republican rival Scott Wagner according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.

During the period that dates back to June 5, it showed the incumbent out-raised his challenger two-to-one with Wolf raising $7.2 million during the period, compared to Wagner’s $3.6 million.

It also showed the governor out-spent his challenger four-to-one during the period. Wolf spent $13.5 million compared to $3.4 million for Wagner.

And Wolf is well-positioned for a strong finish in the race. His campaign reported $8.9 million left in his war chest compared to $1.8 million for Wagner.

Wolf and Wagner are both wealthy businessmen who’ve put millions of their personal funds into their campaigns in the past.

Wagner loaned his campaign $103,000 in the period, a small fraction of the $5.8 million he’d invested in earlier periods when he had to win a three-way Republican primary.

Wolf reported no personal loans or contributions in the current period.

Big donors

The Republican candidate’s biggest single donor was the Students First PAC, a pro-charter school committee. It gave Wagner $1 million, more than one quarter of the funds he raised in the period.

The Student First PAC’s only contributor in the period was Jeffrey Yass, a wealthy investor from Bala Cynwyd, who’s been active in funding school choice candidates in the past.

Wagner also received $250,000 from the Republican Governor’s Association, and $300,000 from John Arnold, the owner of PPC Lubricants, a business based in Warminster.

Wolf, a Democrat, got big donations from organized labor and trial lawyers.

Fairness Pa, a committee established by attorneys, contributed $500,000 to Wolf’s campaign, the Committee for a Better Tomorrow, a trial lawyers group gave $200,000.

Wolf received contributions of $100,000 or more from no fewer than 10 labor organizations, including donations of $250,000 each from the American Federation of Teachers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5 in Pittsburgh, and the Mid-Atlantic Laborers’ Political League.

Wolf also received a $100,000 personal contribution from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A Muhlenberg College poll released last week showed Wolf with a 19-point lead over Wagner.

The candidates’ only debate is next Monday.

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