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May 15, 2014

Why three gubernatorial candidates were in region on Thursday

Singel endorses Wolf for governor

JOHNSTOWN — What will almost certainly be the final local hurrah of gubernatorial campaigning before Tuesday’s primary took place on Thursday.

Three of the four Democratic Party candidates – Tom Wolf, Katie McGinty and Rob McCord – visited Cambria County.

In the morning, Wolf held an event at the Holiday Inn Johnstown-Downtown, where he received an endorsement from former Acting Gov. Mark Singel, a fellow Democrat. Singel was elevated from lieutenant governor to acting governor when Gov. Bob Casey Sr. needed to temporarily step aside for medical reasons. Based on his personal understanding of the job, Singel feels Wolf has the characteristics necessary for becoming governor.

“You’re either equipped for that moment or not, and I personally believe that Tom Wolf is uniquely equipped for that moment,” said Singel, a Cambria County native.

Wolf, like the rest of the Democratic gubernatorial field, including U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, is attempting to unseat Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican.

“I’m a native Pennsylvanian, and I’m doing this because I think we have an alternative,” said Wolf, the owner of a business that manufactures and distributes kitchen cabinets.

“We need to think about Pennsylvania differently, and that is that we don’t hollow out our schools; we invest in education. That we don’t hollow out our transportation system; we actually invest in the things that are going to make Pennsylvania, of all places, great. That we actually create a level playing field, we actually have a place that is open for everybody including my two daughters, neither of them live in Pennsylvania. They’re both talented women.

“We need to make Pennsylvania the kind of place that has the rules of engagement that they feel they’re going to risk their careers to come back and invest their talents right here in Pennsylvania.”

Later in the day, McCord and McGinty attended a Cambria County Democratic Party picnic at the Richland Township Volunteer Fire Department hall.

McCord is now the state’s treasurer.

“We’re reminding people that it’s nice that there are several smart, nice people running, but I’m the only candidate who has proven that, as a statewide elected official, that I know how to stand up and fight for people,” said McCord.

“If you’re a senior citizen worried about your property taxes or your pension, you can bet I’ll stand up and fight for you. If you’re a working mom or a working dad, working twice as hard for half as much, you know I’m going to stand up and fight for you. If you’re a veteran or somebody who loves veterans and realizes more and more veterans have served and honored their country and come home and they’re not being served and honored by the people at home, they can know a Gov. McCord will fight for them. And, finally, everybody, all of us, who depend on investments in job creation and in education, education, education, they know McCord is a fighter and McCord will fight for them.”

McGinty chaired the White House Council on Environmental Quality and became the first woman to lead the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Earlier this month, she announced a plan to invest $300 million in eliminating blight and revitalizing older communities during another visit to Johnstown.

“This part of the state is near and dear to my heart because when I was secretary I had the privilege of working with good people to get great projects done here, like a project that delivered affordable gas to several key employers,” said McGinty.

She added, “I think Cambria County is ready for a change. People want to see us getting back to investing in education, bringing property taxes down and growing jobs. That’s certainly what I’m about as a candidate.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

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