Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ran unopposed in his 2018 renomination bid to become just the third Democrat without a challenger since the state’s first gubernatorial primary in 1914. Wolf joins attorney John Hemphill (1930) and Governor Ed Rendell (2006) among the 27 nominees selected during the direct primary era. Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial nominees have run unopposed seven times during the last 13 cycles: Lieutenant Governor Raymond Broderick (1970), Governor Dick Thornburgh (1982), Lieutenant Governor Bill Scranton III (1986), Governor Tom Ridge (1998), Attorney General Mike Fisher (2002), ex-NFL star Lynn Swann (2006), and Governor Tom Corbett (2014).


  1. Nikoli Orr on May 16, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Had US Senator Patrick Joseph Toomey challenged Governor Corbett and ousted him in the ’14 gubernatorial primary, it is more than remotely possible that he, rather than Thomas Westerman Wolf, would now be the incumbent “taking the night off” (Toomey’s prospects for the general would be a wholly different matter). As for state legislators and representatives, well, thanks(?) to heavily gerrymandered lines, it seems evident that none had any incentive to vie for a position that required appealing to a diverse, statewide electorate, even against an incumbent who, for decisions and positions taken during or prior to his gubernatorial tenure, was unmistakably vulnerable.

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