PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced his candidacy for governor of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
Most candidates announce for public office in their hometowns, but Shapiro, a suburban Philadelphian, chose Pittsburgh to kick off his 2022 campaign.
In an interview seen only on KDKA, political editor Jon Delano asked Shapiro why.
"Pittsburgh has welcomed me over many, many years," says Shapiro. "And Pittsburgh has really been at the center of the big fights I've engaged in on behalf of the good people of Pennsylvania, chief among them bringing Highmark and UPMC together to protect access to health care for 1.9 million western Pennsylvanians."
WATCH: Full Interview With Shaprio
And Shapiro says there's more that unites Pennsylvanians across the state than divides us.
"They want to be connected to the internet. They want good schools for their kids. They want economic opportunities. They want to make sure they don't have a tax burden that makes it hard for them to stay in their homes," he said.
Democrat Shapiro is trying to buck history. The Democrats have never held the governor's office for 12 years in a row.
Delano: "Is the four-year Shapiro term as governor an extension of the eight-year Wolf administration?"
Shapiro: "No. And, Jon, you looked to the history books. I'm looking towards the future, a future that will make us a world-class commonwealth."
Delano: "How is a Shapiro administration going to be different from a Wolf administration?"
Shapiro: "Governor Wolf and I are obviously different people and as you will hear during this campaign, we're going to put out all kinds of policies that will speak to the specifics I'll do."
In the end, says Shapiro, the 2022 election is not about the past but about him and whomever the Republicans nominate for governor.
With continued Republican control of the legislature likely, Shapiro says it will also take a Democratic governor to provide checks and balances.
"Make no mistake. If they come for your voting rights, if they come for your reproductive rights, if they come against the right to organize, I will not hesitate to use my veto pen to protect the good people of Pennsylvania," said Shapiro.
So far, no other Democrats have announced for this office.
The best-known announced Republican in the race is former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta of Hazleton, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2018.
Other Republicans in the race officially include Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, Pittsburgh attorney Jason Ritchey, political strategist Charlie Gerow, chamber CEO Guy Ciarrocchi and former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain.
Both parties pick their nominees in seven months on May 17.
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