March 6, 2016

Pennsylvania Democrats Take A Pass On Endorsing Katie McGinty

When Katie McGinty resigned as Chief of Staff to Gov. Tom Wolf in July, it was at the urging of the Democratic establishment. The thought among Party elites in Philadelphia and Washington was McGinty gave Democrats a better chance at defeating Senator Pat Toomey in November than former Congressman Joe Sestak.

On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party held a vote on which candidate to endorse in the Party’s primary this April, something that seven months ago McGinty would have surely received.

Yesterday however, members of the state party were unable to agree on a candidate to endorse. An endorsement from the state party “can plug a candidate into fundraising and volunteer networks.”

A recent wave of bad headlines for McGinty most likely played a factor in her not receiving the state party’s endorsements.

Just days ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that prominent Pennsylvania Democrats were dissatisfied with McGinty’s senate campaign, and on Friday The Washington Free Beacon reported that a lobbyist for a coal company had hosted a fundraiser on McGinty’s behalf – not a popular industry with liberal activists.

McGinty’s establishment support seemed to hurt, rather than help her. After the vote, former state party chairman Jim Burn said:

McGinty’s strong establishment support, including backing by Wolf and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, was not translating well to the party’s ground-level activists and workers.

McGinty’s failure to receive the endorsement of the Pennsylvania state party belies a lack of enthusiasm within the Democratic base to support another flawed insider candidate.