"I'm very serious about it," she told The Associated Press in an impromptu interview during a visit to the Capitol. "I think having a centrist, pro-jobs, pro-growth and pro-environment approach is something that Pennsylvania needs and will respond positively to."
McGinty said she will take a leave from her job as an executive with West Chester-based Weston Solutions Inc. to concentrate full time on the prospective campaign.
McGinty, 49, headed the Department of Environmental Protection for more than five years under Gov. Ed Rendell and is now a senior vice president at Weston.
She recently filed papers to form a political action committee called New Jobs, Bright Future PA so she can raise money. That development was first reported by the online news agency PoliticsPA.
The Chester County resident joins more than a half-dozen other Democrats who are considering running or already in the race.
Potential candidates include U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state Department of Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf.
Two candidates have already declared their intentions to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's expected re-election bid—John Hanger, who succeeded McGinty at the helm of the DEP, and political novice Max Myers, a minister from Mechanicsburg who announced his candidacy Monday.
McGinty deflected questions about her prospects in a multicandidate primary race.
"I'm intensely passionate about Pennsylvania's future. That's why I'm in," she said.
Before her appointment at the DEP, McGinty worked for several years as a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore of Tennessee. In 1993, she became a deputy assistant to President Bill Clinton and chaired the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 1993 to 1998.