The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 25, 2014

Gubernatorial hopeful wins mayor’s support

JOHNSTOWN — Gubernatorial candidate Rob McCord has received an endorsement from Johnstown’s highest-ranking elected official.

On Thursday, McCord’s campaign officially announced the backing of Mayor Frank Janakovic, a Democrat.

“Frank, personally, has just been incredibly kind to me,” said McCord. “He’s been supportive since before I announced (my candidacy). He understands that Johnstown is sort of larger than life and sort of part of the Pennsylvania legend of working people, the broad-shoulder, hardworking decent people. To have the mayor here is, I think, particularly valuable. Also, he knows that I know that political good works are always an outgrowth of real teamwork.”

Janakovic was one of 30 mayors from across the commonwealth to recently endorse McCord, who is running against U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Tom Wolf and Katie McGinty in the Democratic Party primary.

“Getting that many mayors in a four-way primary – and it’s a primary, it’s not a general – I think is an important signal to voters,” said McCord. “A lot of voters trust their mayors; a lot of voters understand that the mayors say there’s no ideological way to fill a pothole. They are often kind of front-line problem-solvers. ... Being governor is good, hard, meaningful work, and mayors, maybe more than almost anybody else, have a feeling for how that work can get done. So it’s an honor, and it means a lot to me personally as well as politically that such a broad caucus of mayors chose to endorse.”

McCord, the state’s treasurer, talked about the endorsements after he toured Johnstown Wire Technologies in the city’s West End.

He spent more than an hour learning about how the plant operates.

“First of all, any time you’re looking at larger employers, you learn what makes their companies tick, what allows them to be able to provide jobs and to keep those jobs around, so that was very helpful,” McCord said. “It’s also inherently interesting. This kind of a plant seems to me to be part of the legend of Johnstown.

“It’s just part of the pleasure of hanging out here so much. You get to know some of the people, some of the business leaders and some of the labor leaders, who really are the lifeblood of the economy around here.”

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