Katie McGinty, a former candidate for Pennsylvania governor, told members of the Democratic State Committee in an email Wednesday that she is running for state party chair at the request of nominee Tom Wolf.
“I wholeheartedly agree with Tom that Pennsylvania needs a fresh start,” McGinty wrote. “The last thing we can do is allow Tom Corbett to have four more years. A failure in November will mean four more years of failed education policy, four more years of lagging growth, and four more years of having a governor who is indifferent to the needs of hardworking Pennsylvanians.”
A former state environmental secretary and an adviser on the environment in the Clinton White House, McGinty finished last in the party’s four-way primary for governor May 20 – but won wide admiration from Democratic activists for running a positive campaign and staying above the fray in the final weeks as U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord attacked Wolf.
In a separate email Wednesday, Wolf endorsed McGinty and also urged state committee members to back Rep. Jake Wheatley (D.,Allegheny) for vice chairman.
Wolf said that McGinty has a “deep respect for the work state committee members do in the communities, the connections state committee members make with voters and their devotion to Democratic candidates and values.” He called McGinty a trusted ally and added, “Katie will bring endless enthusiasm to counties throughout Pennsylvania. She will fight for our values. She will be our voice.”
As Wolf noted in his email, the party’s nominee for governor traditionally chooses the next party chairperson, who will be elected June 21 at a state committee meeting.
There could be some awkwardness, as incumbent chairman Jim Burn of Allegheny County has told friends he intends to run again.