Thomas 'Tom' W. Corbett Jr.

Contact Information

Telephone:717-787-2500 (Main phone number)
Telephone:717-238-4009 (Main campaign number)
Campaign finance

Candidate Background

Birth place:Philadelphia, PA
Residence:Glenshaw, PA
Religion:Roman Catholic
First Elected:2010


Next Election:2014

Undergraduate education: Lebanon Valley College


Graduate education: St. Mary's University


Tom Corbett was born in Philadelphia and resides in Glenshaw. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1971 from Lebanon Valley College and a law degree in 1975 from St. Mary's University.

He served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard from 1971 to 1984.

Corbett was an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County from 1976 to 1980 and an assistant U.S. attorney in western Pennsylvania from 1980 to 1983. He was appointed U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania from 1989 to 1993.

Corbett was appointed state attorney general from 1995 to 1997 and worked as assistant general counsel at Waste Management Inc. from 1998 to 2002.

He was elected to the first of two four-year terms as state attorney general in 2004. He was elected governor in 2010.

Corbett and his wife, Susan, have two children.


Tom Corbett, a Republican, was swept into Pennsylvania's governorship as a government reformer amid ongoing prosecutions of legislators and their aides ensnared in a corruption investigation he launched as the state attorney general.

All but three of the 25 people on the House payroll who were arrested in the five-year probe ultimately were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes involving the use of public resources for political campaigns. The nine Republicans and 13 Democrats included two former House speakers whose portraits hang in the Capitol. No state senators or their aides were charged.

Corbett promised in his 2010 campaign that he would not raise taxes, and that pledge remained intact as he approached the end of his second year in office.

But it resulted in deep cuts in state spending for education and social services after eight years of growth under the previous governor, Democrat Ed Rendell. It also created tension at times with fellow Republicans who controlled both houses of the Legislature and contributed to an erosion of Corbett's popularity outside the capital.

A Quinnipiac University poll in June 2012 showed only 36 percent of Pennsylvania voters approved of the performance of their stout, white-haired governor — his lowest rating since he took office.

His legislative record was improving by 2012. His victories included approval of a regulatory system for the state's rapidly expanding natural-gas industry, which Corbett touts as the key to prosperity in some of the state's poorest corners. The law honored his no-tax pledge, but authorizes counties to impose a modest "impact fee." He also won approval for hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts for Pennsylvania businesses.

Corbett's efforts to privatize the state's liquor and wine business went nowhere. His support for a bill to require women seeking abortion to have ultrasounds — and his comment that women who did not wish to see the fetal image could close their eyes — angered many people, as did his signing of a law that requires all Pennsylvania voters to show a photo ID at the polls.

Corbett also took some criticism for the handling of the criminal investigation that ultimately led to former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky being convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Corbett was the attorney general when the local prosecutor referred the investigation to the state in 2008, and Corbett's detractors questioned why it took three years to charge Sandusky. Corbett has responded it was a complicated investigation and that it took time to do it right.

In the 2010 election campaign, Corbett defeated Dan Onorato, then the elected executive of Allegheny County, by a nine-point margin. The two candidates spent more than $40 million on a campaign that was heavy on TV attack ads.

Corbett's only previous statewide election campaigns were his two successful bids for attorney general. He owes his previous tenures in high-ranking offices to appointments: Then-President George H. W. Bush tapped him as U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania from 1989 to 1993, and then-Gov. Tom Ridge named him to fill a vacancy in the attorney general's office in 1995.

American Conservative Union Rating: Not rated

Americans for Democratic Action Rating: Not rated


Tom Corbett won his May 2014 primary, he will face Tom Wolf in November.

(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 10, 2014.)

Last updated 3:16pm March 1, 2018