McGinty to Challenge Burn for State Party Chair
Steve Esack of the Morning Call is reporting that former DEP Secretary and gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty will challenge current party chairman Jim Burn.
Not only that, apparently McGinty is being backed by Democratic nominee for Governor Tom Wolf.
Escak reports that McGinty spokesman Mike Mikus confirmed Wolf asked McGinty to run for party leader and she agreed.
The Wolf campaign sent out an email to committee members advocating for Katie McGinty as Chair and State Rep. Jake Wheatley as Vice Chair.
“In Katie, Democrats throughout Pennsylvania will have an energetic and compassionate voice who will fight for middle class families,” he wrote. “Katie will bring endless enthusiasm to counties throughout Pennsylvania. She will fight for our values. She will be our voice.”
“Rep. Jake Wheatley is a veteran legislator, a military veteran, and a community leader,” Wolf continued. “He is passionate about education and community development, and I have spent time in his district seeing his work in the community firsthand. He will continue to be a strong voice for inclusion in the Democratic Party.”
Of current State Chairman Burn, Wolf subtly notes in the beginning of his email that Governors traditionally get to build their own “team”, though he did give him a few words of praise.
“I deeply appreciate the great work Jim Burn has done building the party and electing Democrats,” Wolf writes. “I look forward to involving him in our efforts going forward and making sure that everyone who has been a leader in the party has a voice in our work to give Pennsylvania a fresh start.”
Additionally, McGinty sent out her own email.
“I was honored when Tom asked me to run for Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and gladly told him that I would indeed run,” she wrote. “It would be my honor to serve as State Party Chair because, like you, I believe a strong Democratic Party is necessary to elect Democratic candidates across Pennsylvania and the best way to continue to build our party is to elect Tom Wolf on November 4th.”
The Democratic State Committee meeting is being held on June 20 and 21 at the Radisson Hotel in Camp Hill.
McGinty was notably the only candidate to not attack Wolf during the waning days of the primary. Apparently that strategy paid off. They also briefly served in the Rendell cabinet together when Wolf was Secretary of the Department of Revenue.
McGinty hinted at the news in her Twitter account earlier today:
In case you were wondering, my new Twitter handle is @KatieMcGintyPA. Stay tuned…
— Katie McGinty (@KatieMcGintyPA) June 11, 2014
Update: State Party Chairman Jim Burn responded with an email of his own, a portion of which is included below:
“I am respectfully asking for your support to serve another 4 year term as your State Chair. 4 years ago, together, we charted a course that has made this Party one of the best State parties in America. Together, we must stay on that course and keep building. I am ready to continue that course with you and make history this year by unseating the least popular Governor in America.”