Mere days before the primary election, the Democratic frontrunner in the gubernatorial race and York County native returned home.

And from the sound of the crowd, one could have mistaken the rally for Tom Wolf at the Mount Wolf Community Park on Sunday for a post-election celebration.

"If you haven't noticed on the way in, we're supporting some guy for governor," said Jim Kinder, the borough's former mayor. "We have some signs up."

Campaign signs for Wolf were in front of numerous homes in the small borough of just under 1,400 residents and in neighboring Manchester borough.

Supporters said they are hoping those signs stay up well past Tuesday's primary election and into November's general election, when Wolf could face incumbent Tom Corbett.

Wolf, who's leading the pack of four Democrats in polls, is the first candidate for governor from York County since George Leader successfully ran for the office in 1954, said Bob Kefauver, head of the Democratic Party in the county.

Warm welcoming: The rally was organized by Kinder and was held to drum up support for Wolf, said Jeff Sheridan, campaign spokesman.

According to the campaign, more than 300 of Wolf's supporters attended the rally.

As music played over a loudspeaker, supporters handed out yard signs and stickers bearing the Wolf name.

Drawing on the hometown feel, Wolf said living in Mount Wolf shaped him into the businessman and candidate that he is.


"This is who I am and this is where I grew up," he said. "These are my roots."

For Wolf, his hometown and upbringing there have become as big a part of the campaign as the political issues. He said he recently met would-be voters on the campaign trail who liked the fact that he's from a small town.

His mother, Cornelia, a 67-year resident of Mount Wolf, said during the rally that the town is more like a large family where everyone knows everyone else and still looks out for each other.

"It's a friendly and homey town," she told the crowd, many of whom are from the town.

On the trail: But the campaign has pulled Wolf, chairman and CEO of York-based family company The Wolf Organization, away from home and from his job.

Sheridan said the candidate spent the past few days stumping through parts of the state where towns don't bear his name. Before the rally, Wolf was in Philadelphia politicking.

And Wolf said he's hopeful that work — meeting potential voters in person — will pay off at the polls.

"I'm very confident that we are going to do well," he told a group of reporters after he addressed the crowd.

Though the rally focused a lot on Mount Wolf and how it shaped and influenced Wolf, Keith Oberdick said the issues remain the focal point of the race for him.

The East Manchester Township man was sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Corbett and the words "Send Corbett packing." He said he bought the shirt at the York Fair last year.

He said he likes that Wolf has experience running a successful business and hopes Wolf increases state education funding if elected.

"He's big into education," Oberdick, who is a school janitor, said. "The education budget is an important thing for me."


Tom Wolf will hold an election night celebration at Santander Stadium that's open to the public.

The event will begin after the polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, said Jeff Sheridan, campaign spokesman.

It will feature free refreshments, ballpark snacks and live entertainment at the 5 Brooks Robinson Way stadium in York City.

To RSVP, go to

— Reach Greg Gross at