Thomas W. Corbett (born June 17, 1949) is the 46th Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States. He is a former Attorney General of Pennsylvania and was elected to that office in 2004 and reelected in 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party. Corbett also served as the Pennsylvania Attorney General from 1995 until 1997 when he was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to fill the unexpired term of Ernie Preate, following Preate's indictment.
Thomas Corbett received his Bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College and was employed as a 9th grade teacher for one year. He earned his J.D. St. Mary's University Law School. He served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division from 1971 to 1984, rising to the rank of Captain. Corbett's career has been split between private practice and civil service. He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Pittsburgh's Allegheny County. After three and a half years, he was hired in 1980 as assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In 1983, Corbett went into private practice for several years. During this period, Corbett won his first election as a township commissioner in the Pittsburgh suburb of Shaler Township. He re-entered the public arena in 1988 when a judge appointed him to monitor the Allegheny County jail while it was under the court's supervision. Not long afterwards, President George H. W. Bush appointed him to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, a role in which he served until August 1993. Following his resignation as US Attorney, Corbett returned to private practice, also serving as an adviser to the gubernatorial campaign of Tom Ridge. Following Ridge's victory, Corbett served on a number of state commissions including the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which he served as chairman. In 1995, Corbett was appointed to the position of State Attorney General by Governor Ridge to fill the remainder of the term left by the conviction of Ernest Preate. As a condition of his Senate confirmation, Senate Democrats required him to pledge that he would not run for re-election in 1996. This is a common practice in Pennsylvania for appointments to elected offices. Jerry Pappert made the same pledge in 2003 when he succeeded Mike Fisher as State Attorney General. Corbett left office in 1997 and again went into the private sector, first as general counsel for Waste Management, Inc, then opening his own practice. Corbett is married; he and his wife Susan have two children, Tom and Katherine. Tom is an interactive gaming producer and Katherine is a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's office.
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
The race began with Corbett, Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor, and Joe Peters fighting for the Republican party endorsement. Ultimately, Corbett won the race with 52.8% of the vote. Corbett declared victory the following morning, having defeated Eisenhower by nearly 110,000 votes, winning 50.4% to 48.3%. Green party candidate Marakay Rogers captured 1.3% of the vote. Corbett was re-elected in 2008. He won with the largest vote total of any Republican in the state's history.He defeated Democrat John Morganelli, bucking the trend of Democratic success in Pennsylvania that year.
Governor of Pensylvania
On March 17, 2009, it was reported that Corbett had formed an exploratory committee and had begun filing the paperwork necessary to begin a run for Governor of Pennsylvania. On September 15, 2009 Corbett formally declared his candidacy and, on May 18, 2010 won the GOP primary with nearly 70% of the vote. In September, 2010, at the first gubernatorial debate, Corbett again gained attention for seemingly violating his "no-tax pledge" in suggesting that he would consider raising the payroll contribution tax. On November 2, 2010, Corbett was elected governor of Pennsylvania, succeeding Democrat Ed Rendell. Corbett assumed the office of governor on January 18, 2011. Corbett became governor on January 18, 2011. One of his first actions was the proposal of a new state budget that would decrease spending by 3%. The proposed budget received significant criticism due to its cuts in state-supported higher education by 50%. Under the new budget, funding granted to the 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and state-related universities Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, and Lincoln would be cut in half, totaling $625 million. Corbett has said, however, that he will not attempt to limit collective bargaining, as have Republican Governors John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin. In February 2011, Corbett repealed a four month old policy regulating natural gas drilling in park land, deeming it "unnecessary and redundant" according to a spokesperson. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party called the repeal a "payoff" to oil and gas interests which donated a million dollars to Corbett's campaign. According to Corbett, "had they not given me a dime, I would still be in this position, saying we need to grow jobs in Pennsylvania." In April 2011, Corbett proposed that colleges in the state offset budget cuts to education by drilling for natural gas on campus and keeping the revenue.
May 19th, 2011