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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh business attorney Laura Ellsworth, running for governor, wants you to know several things about her.
First, she is an outsider to politics.
“If you give a politician the choice between doing something and nothing, they’ll do nothing every time because you can’t get unelected for doing nothing,” says Ellsworth.
A consummate do-er, the mother of two from Sewickley who heads up the Pittsburgh office of Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, promises action — not gridlock — in Harrisburg, citing her own private sector experience.
“What I was privileged to participate in as one of the leaders of the region was that the private sector came with will, and purpose, and vision, and resources, and experience, and partnered with the public sector to actually get things done,” Ellsworth told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Ellsworth is up against three others in the Republican primary.
State Sen. Scott Wagner: “There’s a certain style of leadership that may come out of the garbage industry but in my experience in working with people with very big egos and a lot of powerm it’s not the most effective way,” says Ellsworth.
And then there’s House Speaker Mike Turzai whose intransigence, says Ellsworth, led to a poor budget instead of one “that is responsible and decent and does not depend on hoping that more and more of our citizens drink, and smoke, and gamble.”
And while businessman Paul Mango is also an outsider, Ellsworth says he has no record of community leadership.
“I’m just not aware of anything — they’re may be something – I’m just not aware of anything he has ever done, and this is a community that welcomes you to do all sorts of things,” she says.
And there is something else that distinguishes her.
“I voted for John Kasich in the presidential election. I wrote him in. I had campaigned for him. I did not vote for President Trump because I thought there was a divisiveness in the voice I heard from him,” she says.
So can a Republican who voted against President Trump win the Republican nomination for governor?
Ellsworth says, yes, because she can work with the president honestly and candidly.
Moreover, she argues, she is the strongest Republican to attract the Democratic and Independent votes needed to defeat the incumbent, Governor Wolf, next November.
The Republican primary is on May 16, in a little over 3 months.