PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Calling herself a pragmatic centrist Democrat, Katie McGinty says she's the candidate with the background, experience, and issues to beat Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.
"The governor lacks a vision for Pennsylvania," McGinty told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday. "I think he lacks the key understanding of the terrific resources and capabilities that we have."
And McGinty says it begins with jobs.
"It breaks my heart that we're 49th in job creation and so many families are hurting when we should be prospering," she said.
Married with three children, McGinty is the daughter of a Philadelphia police officer and the ninth youngest in a family of 10 kids.
"You become tough," she says. "You know that bowl of mash potatoes is not coming around the table twice, so you get it and you get a big plateful the first time. You can't be bashful and survive."
McGinty is hardly bashful. A chemist and an attorney, she served as Gov. Rendell's Secretary of Environmental Protection after working for President Clinton and Vice President Gore.
Will they endorse her?
"President Clinton and Vice President Gore have been very very helpful and encouraging," she said. "Now I'll leave it to them as to when and where they decide about their public endorsements."
As for gay rights and abortion rights, McGinty notes, "Our deeply personal decisions -- those are decisions for individuals and families to make, not for government to dictate."
McGinty's chief rivals for the Democratic nomination are state Treasurer Rob McCord and Philadelphia Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.
Without naming them directly, she claims, "Pennsylvanians are tired of shrill and polarizing politics."
At this early stage, polls are hardly reliable, but the early ones show Schwartz slightly ahead with McGinty and McCord tied for second.
But the biggest winner is -- no surprise -- undecided.
The primary election is more than five months away -- and the candidates are basically unknown, especially in this region.
McGinty is behind the other two in campaign contributions, but she says she will have the resources she needs by spring.
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