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State senator Scott Wagner announces bid for governor

EAST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Republican state senator Scott Wagner hopes to become the next governor of Pennsylvania.

The York County businessman made history three years ago to become the first person elected to the state senate as a write-in candidate.

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-28th District, York County) said "I am officially announcing my candidacy for governor of Pennsylvania."

As the owner of Penn Waste, Wagner's business is to collect waste, but if elected governor, he tells a crowd of supporters he plans to get rid of it in government.

"You go in to department by department. I know what a lot of the problems are, and again, we have to get our arms around our operations. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem," Wagner said.

Voter Bill Stockwell said "I would need to listen to more of what he's going to say, and listen to the debates before I make up my mind, but he's the first one and I'm here listening to what he has to say today."

Some Pennsylvanians who were laid off after a senate vote failed to fund the state's unemployment call centers were not happy with Wagner's announcement.

"I refuse to, and I would not vote for another $60 million in funding. Now, the governor didn't come to us to ask us if we would fund five or eight million to continue to pay these people," Wagner said.

SEIU local 669 member Amy Jensen said "he needs to get back into work in the senate and get this bill passed, so not only do our jobs return but the benefits that people need to survive."

"I tell the people, all the money that was wasted, on the call center upgrade, $400 million, that was your money too, it was my money, and your money," Wagner said.

Wagner rallied the crowd with several reasons why he believes voters should support him.

"If they're fed up with school taxes, they think we have a pension crisis, they think the economy is stalled. If they've been laid off because unemployment is up because of the economy," Wagner said.

"I'm not a career politician. I'm not a lawyer. I don't have a PhD. I'm different, I'm very, very different," Wagner said.

"He would probably be a good governor, but I don't have to cast a vote yet. I have to get some more information before I make that definitive decision," Stockwell said.

One of Wagner's main targets throughout his speech was Governor Tom Wolf.

"I've been there for almost three years, I know what the problems are, and the problems are the governor's office, and that's where the action is," Wagner said.

"He can't even complete his job as a senator and now he's taking steps to run for governor. We just want him to do his job as a senator," Jensen said.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party responded to Wednesday's announcement by releasing a statement.

Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Preston Maddock said “Scott Wagner represents everything that's wrong with the legislature in Harrisburg, and he promises to take us back to the failures of the past, with billion dollar cuts to education and denying treatment to fend off the heroin and opioid crisis that plagues our communities.”

“Governor Wolf has worked to bring a different approach, making schools his top priority by protecting education funding and providing historic investments in our schools at all levels while expanding treatment to fight the opioid and heroin crisis. The governor will continue to work to change Harrisburg by looking for different solutions and moving away from the failed policies of the past,” Maddock said.

"If you're happy with the status quo, vote for Governor Wolf. If you want change, vote for Scott Wagner," Wagner said.