Mr. Costa and Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, also said when Legislators return in the fall, Senate Democrats will continue to push their top priorities - a comprehensive transportation funding bill and expansion of the state's Medicaid program, to cover more uninsured Pennsylvanians.
State Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills,while carefully stating he wasn't endorsing any one of the slew of Democratic candidates in next year's gubernatorial election, was singing the praises of women candidates at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
"We have two outstanding women running. I think if you've got a woman running against the Governor, I think that creates a significant contrast for folks," he said, citing potential issues in next year's race he feels could be a strength for a woman running, such as gay marriage, education funding and women's health issues.
Mr. Costa was responding to a question about how the governor's race would interplay with state senate races in 2014.
Gov. Tom Corbett, who suffers from generally lackluster polling numbers, has particularly struggled with women voters, as this Politics PA post notes.
"He has a long way to go to close that gender gap. I think that presents opportunities," Mr. Costa said.
Mr. Costa said he and other prominent Pittsburgh-area Dems, including Congressman Mike Doyle, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Peduto, and state House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, have pledged not to make any formal endorsements until the race is further along next year.
A number of Democrats have thrown their hat into the ring thus far, with the two most prominent women being Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty.
Ms. Costa was careful to note he did not want to exclude any candidates. "We have strong male Democratic candidates as well," he said.
Pennsylvania has a dearth of female elected officials compared to other states, as this story from a few months ago noted; and the commonwealth has yet to elect a woman governor.