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Primary primer: Meet the 4 Dems running for governor - abc27 WHTM

Primary primer: Meet the 4 Dems running for governor

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The primary election on Tuesday, May 20 is now a week away.

Democratic voters have a field of four in the race for governor. They will elect the person to challenge Governor Tom Corbett in November.

Corbett, since the removal of Bob Guzzardi from the ballot, is running unopposed.

York County businessman Tom Wolf, 65, is the only non-Philadelphia-area candidate and he's a political newcomer. He spent 18 months as a Revenue secretary under Governor Ed Rendell. He is married to Frances and the couple has two daughters.

Wolf went from unknown to perhaps unbeatable by spending millions of dollars of his own money on a barrage of television ads in late January that went unanswered by his opponents for months.

The television ads defined Wolf in glowing terms and set the narrative for the campaign. They spotlighted his profit sharing, his daughters and his Jeep.

The millions, much of it borrowed, moved the polls and Wolf is clearly the front runner. Polls suggest he has as much as a 25-point lead over his nearest competitors.

"It's a little unnerving having a bullseye on your back," Wolf conceded recently.

There have been blistering attacks about his business practices and the fact that he didn't immediately sever ties with former York Mayor Charlie Robertson after Robertson was accused of murder for his role in a race riot in 1969. Critics have also suggest he's just a rich guy trying to buy an election.

"The only way I had to get my name out was to pay to get my story out, but at the end of the day the people who make the decision are the voters. They render the ultimate verdict," Wolf said. Typically, they don't like people who just have money to put a story up, but they have to decide whether they like the story and they'll decide on May 20th."

Philadelphia-area Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, 65, has the most political pedigree of the four Democrats in the race. She is married to David, lives in Montgomery County and has two grown sons.

The former state senator is the most experienced public servant and Schwartz insists that she's more capable of getting things done and beating Corbett in the fall.

"Tom Corbett is deeply unpopular because of his failed leadership," Schwartz said. "It's hurting Pennsylvania and they want someone new. They want someone who's gonna go to Harrisburg, shake things up, get things done and they know I can do that."

State Treasurer Rob McCord, 55, is a former venture capitalist and successful businessman from Montgomery County. He's married to Leigh and the couple has two sons.

McCord is the only candidate who's won statewide elected office and he calls himself the Corbett slayer.

"I think I'm Tom Corbett's worst nightmare and if he says, 'Wow, McCord surged at the end and won this thing,' that's a horrible May 21st for Tom Corbett," he said.

Horrible is how many prominent Democrats are describing McCord's racially-tinged attack ads aimed at Wolf. McCord isn't apologizing for playing hardball and trying to pierce Wolf's apparent veil of invincibility.

"I think the people of Pennsylvania want to look beyond the (Wolf) ads," he said. They're asking themselves, 'Is just being a nice, smart person gonna be enough, or do we need somebody who's experienced at actually getting things done in statewide elected office and somebody who will fight for us?"

Katie McGinty, 51, is a former Pennsylvania DEP secretary and environmental advisor to President Bill Clinton. She lives in Chester County with husband Karl and their three daughters.

McGinty has remained positive throughout the campaign, refusing to join McCord and Schwartz in attacking Wolf. She's promised to save her fight for the people of Pennsylvania.

"I think what the voters want to hear is how are you gonna improve education in Pennsylvania? How you gonna bring my property taxes down? And how you gonna create jobs? That's a full-time job just to talk about those key issues and that's where I'm focused," she said.

There are two women and two men, three from the Philly suburbs and one from the Midstate. All four will spend the the final week of the campaign giving speeches, criss-crossing the state, and running television ads. But their work will soon be done.

Come Tuesday, the job falls to the voters.


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