Former DEP Secy Katie McGinty exploring run for governor

The list of Democrats considering running for governor keeps growing.


 Kathleen McGinty, former secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and an adviser in the Clinton White House, is forming an exploratory committee that will allow her to raise money while weighing a potential campaign for the nomination to take on Gov. Corbett in 2014.

 In recent weeks, McGinty has been contacting Democratic insiders to see if there is interest in her potential candidacy. It appears she thinks there’s enough of that to take the next step.

 PoliticsPA first reported McGinty’s exploratory committee, and also quoted unnamed sources as saying she had $1 million in fundraising commitments.

 McGinty, 49, grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and lives in Wayne. Since leaving the administration of ex-Gov. Ed Rendell (D), she has been working for Weston Solutions, an environmental consultancy.

 She has never been elected to office and has no clearly defined political base, unlike some better-known contenders, but McGinty has a network of contacts from her years with Rendell and Bill Clinton.

 An environmental adviser to Al Gore when he was in the Senate, McGinty headed the Council on Environmental Quality in the Clinton White House from 1995 to 1998. She served as DEP secretary from 2003 to 2008, spanning the first six years of Rendell’s eight as governor.

 U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who represents the 13th district, has signaled she intends to run and has at least $3 million in her political accounts. Another formidable fundraiser, state Treasurer Rob McCord also is taking steps to run for governor. Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, the party’s nominee for Senate in 2010, has been inscrutable about his plans but could be a third heavy hitter in the race.

 If she jumps in, McGinty would be the second DEP head to join the Democratic field. Her immediate successor, John Hanger, announced his candidacy in late 2012. A third veteran of the Rendell administration, former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, also has said he wants to run.

 Besides Hanger, the only announced Democratic candidate is Max Myers, a Cumberland County evangelical minister.