2 gubernatorial candidates visit restaurants in city

Williamsport had visits from two candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor in the same day, when Tom Wolf and state Treasurer Rob McCord made campaign stops in the city Wednesday.

McCord stopped for breakfast at Panera Bread on Basin Street as part of a 900-mile bus trip throughout Pennsylvania, talking with campaign volunteers and customers and outlining his goals for the state, which include raising the state minimum wage to $10.70 per hour.

“It’s the biggest increase being proposed by any candidate,” said campaign spokesman Cameron Kline. “Rob is fighting for working families.”

McCord also outlined his proposal to impose a 10-percent drillers’ tax on companies drilling for natural gas, which could generate up to $1.3 billion in revenue in its first year alone.

In the early afternoon, Wolf, former secretary of Revenue under Gov. Ed Rendell, stopped at the Hepburn Diner on Hepburn Street and spoke about his vision for Pennsylvania, placing education at the top.

“That’s how we transform lives in Pennsylvania,” he said.

The state has “some of the best universities in the world,” but in order to stay competitive, education needs better support and funding “from pre-K all the way up,” he said.

Wolf also cited better regulation of the natural gas drilling industry as one of his top priorities.

“We have this great natural resource in the Marcellus Shale, but we can’t just say, ‘the store is open for business, come on in and drill,’ and then just let them leave if the supply or the market changes,” he said.

McCord and Wolf are two of four candidates hoping to secure the Democratic nomination in next week’s primary election, ahead of the general election in November. McCord, Wolf, former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Philadelphia, will appear on the ballot.

Gov. Tom Corbett is running unopposed for the Republican nomination in his bid for a second term.