Pennsylvania candidate for governor Rob McCord.
Pennsylvania candidate for governor Rob McCord. (AP File Photo)

HARRISBURG - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rob McCord says his campaign message isn't ignoring his stepfather's role in raising him, but rather is emphasizing that being raised for a time by a single mother familiarized him with financial insecurity.

McCord was responding to questions Monday on WITF-FM's show Smart Talk about a stepbrother's criticism that his campaign conceals his mother's remarriage for political convenience.

McCord says he and his mother Joan endured a difficult period after she divorced when he was four. She remarried to Carl Silver in 1971, according to her Philadelphia Inquirer obituary, when McCord was 11 or 12.

McCord says he speaks glowingly about Silver, but he's trying to convey the message that as governor he would address the fear of slipping into poverty.

McCord has been trailing York County businessman Tom Wolf in polls with voters about which candidate they prefer in the May primary.