HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Tom Wolf’s “Fresh Start” campaign was a big hit with Pennsylvanians who handed him an easy victory in November over Governor Tom Corbett.
But Wolf is drawing fire for many of his hires.
Two of the first, senior staffers Katie McGinty and John Hanger, were, like Wolf, former Ed Rendell cabinet secretaries.
And as Wolf continues to stock his cabinet, there’s more than a dash of Rendell seasoning.
“He ran on Fresh Start PA. Ed Rendell’s not a fresh start to PA,” state Representative Seth Grove (R-York) said.
As of Friday afternoon, more than half of Wolf’s cabinet choices were either secretaries or deputy secretaries under Rendell.
“Wolf needs to be his own man and I think he portrayed himself as his own man,” Grove said. “He wants to reinvent government, and bring fresh ideas. Bringing in former Rendell cabinet officials may be stale.”
The statewide GOP issued a statement derisively calling it Rendell’s third term.
“I’d say that’s nonsense,” Wolf said when asked about the criticism. “If I had one person from the Rendell cabinet, I’d be accused of being Rendell three.”
Wolf insists he’s made prudent choices and is confident his cabinet will be good for what ails Pennsylvania.
“They’re good people,” Wolf said. “Integrity actually matters to me a lot, so I’ve been trying to choose the best possible people and I think I’ve done that.”
Democrats also counter that it’s smart for a relatively inexperienced governor to surround himself with an experienced team.
“The shorter the learning curve, the more likelihood you’ve got to make real progress happen,” said Representative Kevin Schreiber (D-York). “And the sooner you can do that, the better off we all are in Pennsylvania.”
Wolf also makes it clear that regardless of who his cabinet used to work for, there’s no question who’s in charge.
“I’m Tom Wolf. I’m the one who ran for governor and it’s gonna be my administration,” he said.