Wagner looks to pad war chest for 2018 governor's race with big fundraiser

Written by Rick Lee/The York Daily Record | Jul 26, 2017 6:55 PM

FILE PHOTO: State Senator Scott Wagner of York County is running for the GOP nomination for governor. (Photo: Jason Plotkin, York Daily Record)

(York) -- If you want some face time with the man who wants to be your next governor, a $25,000 contribution to his fundraising campaign will do it.

Sen. Scott Wagner, a Republican from Spring Garden Township, self-made millionaire businessman, and self-proclaimed champion of working class Pennsylvanians, is holding a "Scott Wagner for Governor" fundraiser on Thursday at Outdoor Country Club.

The event features Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a "VIP Policy Discussion," a "VIP Reception with Photo Opportunity," and a "General Reception with Entertainment."

For $25,000, you get five tickets to the policy discussion, eight tickets to the VIP reception and 10 tickets to the general reception.

Less pricey contributions -- $10,000, $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 -- come with a smaller number of tickets to the event, but you still get the photo op and sponsorship recognition.

Access to just the general reception is $100 a head.

The fundraiser also takes credit cards, according to the invitations mailed out in past weeks.

Income from the fundraiser -- minus expenses -- will go into Wagner's gubernatorial war chest, which currently stands at about $4.26 million.

After announcing his bid for governor in November 2016, Wagner personally loaned $4 million to his campaign, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Wagner's guberbatorial campaign committee reported receiving an additional $90,000 from his Senate campaign committee, plus about $175,000 from the earnings of campaign funds invested in a brokerage account. The committee reported no expenses. The report covers all of 2016.

All of the reported money came in between Dec. 21-31, 2016.

Wagner's opponent, Democrat and incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf, reported remaining cash on hand at the end of 2016 at a little more than $1.7 million. Also a millionaire businessman in a former life, Wolf had loaned $10 million to his 2014 campaign.

Wolf has no fundraisers planned for the immediate future. The Tom Wolf for Governor website does have a standing page seeking contributions. In a more modest request than his Republican challenger, Wolf's campaign website says, "Governor Wolf is fighting for all Pennsylvanians. Say you're with him -- chip in $5 or more today." 

The 2014 governor's race between Wolf and then incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett hit an unprecedented $60.5 million total in campaign expenses. Wolf outspent Corbett $32.5 million to $28 million.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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