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Former Congresswoman Melissa Hart Launching Bid To Become Pennsylvania's First Female Governor

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - Former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart, a McCandless Republican, is running for governor of Pennsylvania next year.

In her first TV interview on the subject, Hart told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday that she brings the right kind of experience to the office.

There are 12 declared candidates for the Republican nomination for governor -- all males.

Now Melissa Hart wants to break up the men's club and do what no woman has ever done -- become governor of Pennsylvania.

She's not afraid of the battle ahead.

"Women are not or tend not to be as combative or as comfortable with the combative atmosphere that our politics today, unfortunately, has driven some people, who are very good people, away from it," says Hart. "And because I've been tested before, been through it before, maybe I'm less hesitant to enter the fray."

WATCH: Hart Officially Launches Campaign (1/5/22) --


For 10 years, Hart represented the North Hills in the state Senate in Harrisburg and then served another six years in Congress. She says her combined experience, coupled with her last 14 years in the private sector, add up to a winner.

"I believe I bring a perspective that is more directly oriented towards what government should do for people, and I won't be burdened with the things that people who are currently serving are," says Hart.

Hart, an attorney, says her work in a small local law firm gives her a much better perspective on how government impacts individuals and small businesses.

"I've learned a lot working again for family-owned companies, for individuals who I represent as well, and I've done a lot of different kinds of law because that's what you do when you're in a small law firm," says Hart. "You understand people's problems from all different angles."

So far, the better-known Republican candidates come from back east, like former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta of Hazelton, Senate president Jake Corman of Centre County and former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain from suburban Philadelphia.

Hart's roots in western Pennsylvania could help her.

"We sometimes feel, oh I don't know, like we're not treated as well in the west. I sometimes think that that is true because there is a heavier population back in the east. But western Pennsylvania hopefully will be, as you describe it, certainly, I would take any advantage that I could get."

On the issues, Hart's views are generally in line with most Republicans like pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.

But Hart thinks Harrisburg has become too contentious in recent years.

Hart will make a formal announcement of candidacy in January.

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