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Western Pennsylvania Republican Melissa Hart joins governor's race

Courtesy of the Hart campaign

Former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart launched her bid for governor Monday evening. So far, the former congresswoman from Western Pennsylvania is the only woman running in the large GOP field of candidates.

“I care about Pennsylvania,” Hart, of McCandless, said in a statement Monday. “Our commonwealth’s motto is virtue, liberty and independence. But it’s not only a motto, it’s what we demand as a freedom-loving people and what we expect from state government.

"Pennsylvania took a direct and serious blow from the pandemic and was hurt even more by the subsequent failure of leadership by the Governor and his administration," she added. "We need compassionate and responsible leadership to move forward.”

Hart attended Washington & Jefferson College and served as a state senator for a decade, until 2001, when she ran for Congress. Hart served in the U.S. House of Representatives until 2007. She’s since worked as a lawyer.

“I cannot sit on the sidelines any longer as politician after politician fails to deliver for the people of Pennsylvania," she said. "We deserve better.”

Other Republican candidates include former Congressman Lou Barletta, GOP strategist Charlie Gerow, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, state Senators Jake Corman and Scott Martin, businessman Dave White, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, County Chamber of Commerce CEO Guy Ciarrocchi, and Jason Richey, an attorney in Allegheny County.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has cleared the field and is the only Democrat running so far.