Ridley’s Dave White fights for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in a crowded field
Former Delaware County Councilman and Ridley Township Commissioner Dave White actively pledged to visit Pennsylvania and launch TV ads amid a field of Republican gubernatorial candidates in the primary of this year.
‘It’s time to try one of our own – a blue collar worker who has worked hard from his kitchen table and wants to be governor for all the right reasons,’ he said, referring to the entrepreneur in Morton-based DWD mechanics, worth $85 million a year. Inc., he started out as a pipefitter.
In the race, White joins eight other Republican candidates hoping for a chance to face presumptive Democratic nominee and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Among those seeking GOP nomination are retired U.S. Army Col. and State Senator Doug Mastriano, Franklin County R-33; former U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, R-11 of Hazelton; State Senate Chairman Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-34 of Center County; Bill McSwain, former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Chester County; Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph Gale; former U.S. Representative Melissa Hart, R-4 of Allegheny County; Charles Gerow of Cumberland County, who is vice-president of the Conservative Political Action Conference; and Northampton County cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Nche Zama.
In a Franklin & Marshall College poll released this month, most Republicans, about 34%, remain undecided and of those who have decided, more than half – 53% – said they are still deciding their voting choice.
However, the poll indicated that Mastriano with 20% has a slight advantage over McSwain at 12%, Barletta at 11% and White at 8%.
The poll also indicated that around 59% of those polled said they didn’t know enough about White, 54% about McSwain, 51% about Mastriano and 47% about Barletta to have an opinion.
The Franklin & Marshall survey also said Mastriano had an advantage over Republicans who identified with the Donald Trump faction of the party while White and McSwain had more success with mainstream Republicans.
The survey polled 792 registered voters in Pennsylvania, including 357 Democrats, 325 Republicans and 110
independent between April 20 and May 1.
From his standing in various polls, White said the campaign is where it needs to be at this point.
“We feel very good where we are,” he said, adding that his polls are coming back well. “We are at the right time right now. Our message is getting through.
Additionally, he said there has been a surge of people signing up on his website to help with the campaign.
In any race, especially larger scale ones like governor, money is needed.
In the March 28 campaign finance filing with the Pennsylvania Department of State, White’s campaign showed $4,276,192.84 in funds available, of which $4.1 million had been spent. Among the funds, White and his wife, Debbie, loaned the campaign $4 million of their own money.
“I believe in putting your money where your mouth is,” White said. “That’s why we do it. I need a better future for our grandchildren.
He has three and one on the way.
White himself was born into a Springfield family of 14 children and attended Delaware County Vocational Technical School to become a union steam fitter. He is also an alumnus of Cardinal O’Hara High School and attended Pennsylvania State University.
In 2005, he founded DWD Mechanical Contractor Inc., which grew from his home in Ridley Township into a multi-million dollar business.
After his service as Ridley Township Commissioner, White was appointed to the Delaware County Council in 2012. White was elected to a four-year term on the council in 2013. He was defeated when he ran running for re-election in 2017, in an election that criticized the contracts his company received.
Married for almost 40 years, he and his wife are parents to four children – Lisa, Matthew, Kellianne and Brian, who has special needs.
His platform is consistent with most conservative causes as he received the highest rating from the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation; is an avid supporter and life member of the National Rifle Association; supports legislation that divides sports into male and female divisions, requiring athletes to compete based on their biological sex, not their gender identity; and supports school choice and prohibits the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
He also said he would end no-apology mail-in voting in Pennsylvania, institute signature verification for mail-in ballots, ban the use of drop boxes, and work to implement ID. voters. He also supports the creation of an independent electoral audit of all elections by the Auditor General.
White said he also wants to expand vocational training, noting that only 3% of Pennsylvania high school students have enrolled in such training programs. He would like that to increase to 30% over the next decade.
He said he wanted to teach that a pipe wrench and college degree are equally valuable and expand technical training as an opportunity for people to succeed.
White said he wanted to say to every high school student, “My path is a good path,” noting how he started with technical training, went into the field, built his business at his kitchen table all the way to l $85 million a year business. is today and is now running for governor.
“I want to inspire people,” he said. “I want to inspire the next generation.”
White explained why he is currently running for governor.
“Harrisburg is broke,” he said, adding that his business was affected by Governor Tom Wolf’s 2020 COVID mitigation orders. “The government shut down without a plan. You never would have thought that it could happen in Pennsylvania.
White noted, however, even though other businesses had to close, Wolf Industries remained open.
At DWD Mechanical, 85 employees weren’t so lucky.
“They all had to be fired until we knew what we were doing,” White said.
Additionally, he said Pennsylvania’s budget has nearly doubled in the past 10 years.
“We literally have nothing to show for this,” White said. “I believe you need a business type mentality in Harrisburg.”
From his upbringing at Delco, he learned from his Steamfitter father and stay-at-home mom that hard work pays off.
“I’m a blue-collar gubernatorial candidate,” he said. “Eight to 85 percent of people in Pennsylvania just want to work and want a better life for their families and their children and grandchildren and they’re just not getting it.”