Close this search box.

PA-Gov: McGinty To Serve as Wolf’s Chief of Staff

wolf-mcgintyKathleen McGinty may have finished fourth in the Democratic primary, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be going to the Governor’s mansion.

Governor-elect Tom Wolf announced today that McGinty will serve as his Chief of Staff once he assumes office. In the meantime, she will help Wolf build his team during the transition.

“Katie McGinty has broad experience in state and federal government and in the private sector,” said Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. “She will be an asset to my administration and to the people of Pennsylvania. In federal and state government, Katie worked with diverse interests to achieve meaningful change in difficult environments. Her experience will help me work with Republicans and Democrats to move Pennsylvania forward.”

A Senate advisor to Al Gore, McGinty rose to become the Chairperson of the Council on Environmental Quality for the Bill Clinton administration from 1995 to 1998. Gov. Rendell tapped her as DEP Secretary from 2003 to 2008.

McGinty and Wolf actually worked together in the Rendell cabinet in 2007 and 2008 while Wolf was Secretary of Revenue.

Initially, McGinty ran for the same position Wolf won. Unlike her opponents, however, McGinty ran a positive race and didn’t hit Wolf with negative attacks.

After the primary was over, Wolf tried to install McGinty as Chair of the PA Democratic Party but the incumbent Jim Burn refused to step down. Instead, McGinty became Chair of Wolf’s PAC FreshStartPA.

Fresh Start was a constant presence during the campaign and was able to both supersede the state Democratic Party and attack Gov. Corbett so Wolf didn’t have to.

Now, McGinty will have a much more powerful position than party chair. As Chief of Staff she’ll be arguably the second-most powerful person in the Wolf Administration.

16 Responses

  1. Robbie
    You couldn’t be more wrong if you were Chris claiming Corbett was going to win.

    I saw Bob Casey at the Wolf rally in York. I’ve met him many times before, and he always knows my name. Kane knows me as well.

    The “public” information in my program is more up to date than the multi-million dollar system used by the party, so campaigns come to me all the time for mailing lists.

    I would NEVER work directly for a campaign (why would I take a pay cut from my regular job to do that?). All of the paid consultants for McCord got their asses handed to them. Had I been one of his consultants, I would have resigned over his racial attacks against Wolf. (I’ve got no respect for all the ones that stayed and defended the attacks.)

    The Schwartz team of consultants didn’t cover themselves in glory either. At the gov debate at Drexel, they had a dozen young supporters outside holding signs. All guys, not a single woman. No clue.

    DePasquale voted for the redistricting. I never even considered approaching him and don’t want his business.

    Wolf ignored my advice about trying to have coattails (instead of the GOP appeasement strategy that backfired). Now, he’s stuck with more Republicans in the legislature.

    The HDCC got it’s ass handed to it as well. They failed to field candidates in 10-12 districts with parity or a Dem registration advantage (about half the competitive districts). Everyone there will likely be removed and replaced.

    The Westmoreland sweep of the row offices was fueled in part by my system used to generate the committee packets for the ground game. I already have clients there committed for 2015, who are thrilled with my system.
    I’ve even got a few city/district council candidates in Philly and Pittsburgh already paid up working on their campaigns.

    Robbie, who listens to you? You post here anonymously. Zero street cred.

  2. David Diano –

    Nobody cares about your opinions. They are usually uninformed and wrong. They are uninformed and you know nothing except public information because no major candidates use you as a consultant or use your product and its reliance on public information. They would hire you if they though your advice had value. None of them hire you because your advice has no value.

    Almost no major Democrats know who you are, and you are an annoying joke to the few who do know who you are. Tom Wolf, Bob Casey, and Kathleen Kane don’t know who you are and doesn’t care about your opinion. DePasquale, McCord, and Shapiro know you as the annoying guy who hangs around state committee and local party events trying to get attention and be somebody. You are attracting the wrong kind of attention, and you are still nobody.

    If you offered quality advice, they would listen to you. But you don’t. None of them care about your opinions. You have failed. Either give up, or accept your role as the annoying guy who comments on Politics PA.

  3. kathy mclanty aint gonna run for nothng else never again and she gonna run against goevenor corbit when he runs again for goevenore in for yrs,

  4. Andrew-
    It clears the field for Josh Shapiro (who won the PoliticsPA reader poll by a wide margin, and three times as many votes as Sestak).

    John Timond-
    Seems more like Wolf thrust her in as he wanted a loyalist in the position, which also makes sense for him picking her for Chief of Staff. So, Wolf’s picks seem based upon her loyalty to him.

    As for “bashing” legislators, the problem with the election was that Wolf was too easy on them. When he was promoting the idea of dismantling/reversing Corbett’s policies, he failed to make the case that it would require replacing the GOP legislators who voted for those same policies. Wolf’s strategy was one of appeasement to avoid the GOP legislators being “mad” at him. This completely backfired as he now now more GOP legislators to deal with and fewer Dems.

    With Fresh Start, HDCC and State committee all at odds, rather than united under the Gov candidate, this fiasco was inevitable.

  5. I fid this be a very odd choice. First, McGinty thrust herself into the middle of the attempted coup for party leadership, which she lost. Second, she headed up an organization with the sole responsibility for running negative ads against republicans who won. So she’s 0 for 2 with quite a few unfriendly folks waiting for her in Harrisburg. Best of luck Katie!

  6. She would have been my choice to run against Toomey in ’16. But now she would carry all of the baggage of the Wolf administration, good and bad. I guess that clears the field for Sestak.

  7. Wrong vince. You need a tactician, an operative, someone who understands their job is to work and further their boss. Katie has two major problems: (1) Her ex-candidate, ex-FreshStart Chairwoman ego/mentality won’t lend itself well for being the COS; and (2) she spent the last 6 months going around and bashing members of the legislature. Do you think those people will be looking at helping her move her agenda?? I guess they learned nothing from Corbett and his gubernatorial team of ex-prosecutors. Bring back Steve Crawford…

  8. Gov. Elect Wolf could not have made a better choice! Katie McGinty has the knowledge, communication skills, and energy to be an outstanding Chief of Staff! I’m sure that she will be the obvious choice for Governor in 2022 too.

  9. Mariamosette- “Industry spokesperson” ?? Could you be specific? Is there a particular industry, or just industry in general? Can you give an example?

    Hugh Jwone-
    Generally it’s the “people powering our homes every day” who are considered to be working against agriculture with their pollution/fracking/drilling/run-off/etc.

    Working against the frackers would be like working for the farmers, not against them.

    So, I’m just a bit confused by your selection of groups. As I asked Mariamosette, could you give some examples?

  10. She regularly worked against farmers, manufacturers, and those who work to power our homes every day.

    I’m not sure how this translates into a pro-agriculture or pro-manufacturing agenda that Gov. Wolf sold to Pennsylvania.

    The GOP General Assembly ate her alive once before, they’ll do it again.

  11. A fresh start would imply that the persons appointed would have no alterior motives and true impartiality, neither of which does McGinty possess. The people of the commonwealth don’t need another industry spokesperson, we need a spokesperson for the people!

  12. What are the key characteristics/criteria for Chief of Staff?

    Loyalty – Check
    Organizing ability – Check
    Knowledge of the Political environment – Check


    – Planning and directing all administrative, financial, and operational activities for the organization’s President, CEO, and/or Board of Directors.
    – Acting as a point of contact between top management and employees or other stakeholders.
    – Providing oversight and guidance to projects critical to the organization.
    – Providing strategic advice to CEO and management of daily operations of office

  13. DEP Secretary isn’t enough street cred for you, fed? DO you know anything about Katie McGinty or her background? Please, enlighten us with your superior knowledge of credible, seasoned vets on capitol hill and give us your list of people you would rather see as COS

  14. Was hoping for a heavy hitter with some real street cred or experience working the Capitol. When i think of Ms. McGinty, i don’t think of….effective COS. Sigh. I hope this admin learns from the mistakes of the previous admnin and how small mistakes can snowball down the road.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen