State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

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Scott Wagner exiting Senate to focus on gubernatorial bid

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | May 31, 2018 6:01 AM

Scott Wagner, who has long touted himself as a Harrisburg outsider, is resigning from the Senate. (Photo by AP)


(Harrisburg) -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is stepping down from the state Senate. 

A spokesman for the soon-to-be former York County lawmaker said he wants to devote more time to efforts to unseat Governor Tom Wolf, and is now undertaking "an aggressive campaign where he will speak directly to voters and get their input on how to face our challenges."

The spokesman also said Wagner will give a farewell address Monday on the Senate floor. 

Wagner owns a lucrative waste hauling business, and took office in 2014 after a write-in campaign that saw him upset a party-endorsed candidate. 

He submitted his resignation Wednesday evening with little warning to Senate Republican leaders.

But Drew Crompton, a lawyer for the caucus, said there's no bad blood. 

"The Senate understands that he wants to focus on the campaign, and we applaud that," Crompton said. "That was his call and I think it was a good judgement call."

The Wolf campaign released a statement condemning Wagner's decision, calling his resignation a month before the state budget deadline proof that he's "only interested in furthering his own political ambitions."

In the event of a senator's resignation, the lieutenant governor is able to call a special election to find a replacement.

It's still unclear if or when Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack will do so.

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