Democratic candidate for governor Rob McCord opened a new campaign office last night — located in the the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh on the busy Butler Street.
In honor of the office’s grand opening, McCord, standing underneath a pennant collage dedicated to Pittsburgh sports teams, welcomed his supporters in attempt to rally their efforts.
“How do we win this thing?” McCord asked the packed house of people who donned stickers and brandished his campaign signs. “That question relates to you — very directly.
“Pennsylvania politics is a like a competitive sport, and it’s a team sport. And you make the outcomes.”
Once he finished his speech and shook the hands of local community leaders, I got a chance to sit down with the current State Treasurer and former businessman one-on-one.
I asked him about the importance Western Pennsylvania will hold on the eventual outcome of the Democratic primary in May.
“It’s invaluable. It’s crucial. I believe whoever wins Western PA is going to win the nomination, and I believe that whoever wins in Western PA will win in the general,” McCord said.
For McCord, the city of Pittsburgh holds a special place in his heart.
“The people who know me really well understand that, substantively and politically, Pittsburgh has mattered most to me. When I first ran for office in a contested primary, I wouldn’t have won if I hadn’t been able to dominate in Western PA.”
McCord hopes to repeat that success, while also expanding his base of support.
“Our campaign has ties in this area, and we are also building new ones.”
McCord discussed how his recent entrance into politics hasn’t helped with name recognition, but that his background is what appeals to voters.
“I have the benefit and the burden of not having been a career politician.” But, he said, “The people who are embracing our candidacy are arguing that I have the right blend of experience.”
Through television ads — in what he jokingly referred to as part of the “air war” — and his campaign team’s focus on “community commitments,” McCord believes that he will come out “triumphant” in the Democratic primary come May.
With his campaign entering a crucial stage, McCord seemed both focused and lighthearted. And as of right now, he is not worrying about the polls.