Katie McGinty, one of seven Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor, visited Carbon County Wednesday to meet and speak about her campaign.
Members of the Carbon County Democratic Executive Committee gathered at Kelly's Irish Pub in Lansford to welcome McGinty.
Billy O'Gurek, chairman of the committee, said that it was nice that McGinty could stop in Carbon County during her campaign. Earlier that day, she made stops in Schuylkill County and Bethlehem.
"The stop shows that she wants to work with smaller counties like Carbon," O'Gurek said, noting that usually candidates frequent larger counties more often.
McGinty, who donned a red dress and warmed the room with her friendly personality, said she was happy she could make an appearance to meet with the committee because it is the well-being of the hardworking families of Pennsylvania that is her main priority in her campaign.
"I want the voters to know I am going to work hard every day with them and for them to create better jobs with better pay and better opportunities," she said, adding that she wants to help raise the minimum wage so people can make a better living and support their families.
McGinty explained that she comes from a family of 10 children. Her father, John, was a Philadelphia police officer and her mother, Alma, worked as a restaurant hostess.
"When I was growing up as the ninth of 10 kids and my father patrolling the streets, we didn't have a whole lot of extra dollars and cents, but we never wanted for anything," she said. "Today, families are working so hard and they can't make ends meet. I am determined to change that by creating better jobs with better pay and better opportunities."
She served as the senior advisor and chair of the White House Council on environmental quality under the President Bill Clinton administration, as well as the secretary of environmental protection during the Gov. Ed Rendell administration. She said these jobs equipped her with the knowledge on how to create jobs in manufacturing, clean advanced technology and the private sector.
During the Rendell administration, McGinty helped make Pennsylvania seventh in the nation in job creation; as well as first in clean energy manufacturing and wind energy manufacturing, and second in solar energy.
"I'm not a politician but I've been in government and worked hard at solving problems and bring people together, both Republicans and Democrats, to get good legislation together," she said. "I've also been in the business world and helped run a business.
"I think we should be a leading state in innovation," she continued. "We need to invest in education, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, provide good health care for Pennsylvanians. When we do those things, we're investing in ourselves and our future."
McGinty and her husband, Karl, and their three daughters live in Central Pennsylvania.