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2 Democrats battle for nomination to take on incumbent Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity

2 Democrats battle in primary to take on incumbent Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity
2 Democrats battle in primary to take on incumbent Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity 02:40

HARRISBURG (KDKA) -- The Pennsylvania primary is just two weeks away and voters will nominate candidates for several statewide offices, including state treasurer.

Republicans have just one candidate while Democrats are choosing between two western Pennsylvanians as their nominee.

Four years ago, Republican Stacy Garrity defeated the incumbent state treasurer. Now two Democrats want to win back this office. Ryan Bizzarro, a state representative from Erie County, and Erin McClelland, a small businesswoman from Allegheny County, both stress their experience.

"I have actually run a small business, made a payroll, which I really think is one of my biggest assets having done that for almost a decade. I have extensive training in process improvement," said McClelland. "I have actually worked on the frontline of a government agency, having worked for the Department of Human Services for just under a decade there."

"We need a treasurer who has relationships with the legislature to get these programs done and across the finish line," Bizzarro said. "I have ten years of relationships with both the House and Senate Democrats and Republicans plus the other row office candidates and current office holders. I'm the guy for the job and the guy who can truly modernize treasury and use it to be an office for the people."

While both Democrats have largely focused their criticisms on the Republican incumbent, they do disagree themselves. Says McClelland of Bizzarro, "I've actually seen operationally how government works, which is a lot different than just pushing yay or nay and writing policy as a legislator."

Bizzarro criticizes McClelland as someone who has run for other offices.

"First and foremost, this is not a vanity project for me. I don't run for multiple offices. The office that I've run for, I've been successful at it. I have the endorsement of the state party. I have the endorsement of folks in labor," Bizzarro said. 

As for this race, both Bizzarro and McClelland think they can win.

"I think we've been putting in the work. We have a real message that fits in with the ticket, that really shows that we are moving forward with this office and bring real policy and real ideas to the table. And I think having a woman on the ballot always plays well in the Democratic Primary, so I feel really good about this one," McClelland said. 

"With the help of the voters, I have every expectation of winning on April 23, and I respectfully ask all of your viewers for their vote," Bizzarro said. 

The Republican, Stacy Garrity, is unopposed in her primary. Democrats will choose their nominee on April 23.

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