Katie McGinty finally made it official today when she announced her entry into the Senate race.
“Establishment Democrats have finally found someone who’s willing to run against Joe Sestak,” PA GOP Chair Rob Gleason said. “For months, Democrats have publicly raised concerns about Joe Sestak’s ability to win a statewide election. After multiple rejections by other possible candidates, Democrats’ best hope to take on Sestak is a candidate who came in last in the gubernatorial primary.”
“With McGinty’s lack of accomplishments including her role in creating the current budget crisis, and their own pariah Joe Sestak, it looks like Democrats are stuck with a terrible choice between two lackluster candidates in next spring’s primary.”
In a creative shot against the new Senate hopeful, the Republicans bought the domain name McGintyforSenate.com. The link features a screenshot of the results of the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary, in which McGinty finished fourth out of four candidates.
The NRSC doubled down on that critique.
“Pennsylvania Democrats are so dissatisfied with Congressman Joe Sestak’s candidacy that they are now placing their bets on someone who finished dead last in a four way Democratic gubernatorial primary last year,” said NRSC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. “It’s bad enough that McGinty is one of the main proponents of the largest tax hike in Pennsylvania history, but her decision to pursue her own political ambitions instead of continuing to work to solve Pennsylvania’s budget problems is proof positive she values her own self interest above that of Pennsylvania’s interests.”
They also sought to diminish her by mentioning all the other potential candidates Democrats had urged to run, painting McGinty as a last ditch alternative. The NRSC also stated that she was neglecting her job as Gov. Wolf’s Chief of Staff by meeting with DSCC officials in Martha’s Vineyard last month.
As for the DSCC, their praise was muted, though the above evidence suggests they’re excited about her jumping into the race:
DSCC Chairman Jon Tester on Katie McGinty PASen candidacy: "now we've got 2 candidates who can beat Toomey"
— Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari) August 4, 2015
Much as McGinty didn’t mention Sestak in her launch video, Sestak didn’t directly name McGinty in his response. Nonetheless, he still managed to get his point across.
“Trust is the biggest deficit in America today,” he stated. “The establishment has let us down – Washington has forgotten that it is about people above party, above type. I want to be held accountable to the people of Pennsylvania – not party insiders.”
Sen. Toomey chose to hold back and praise McGinty’s entry (which is easier to do after the party already handled the tough stuff).
“We welcome her to the competition of ideas, and we’ll let the Democrats sort out who their candidate will be next April,” Toomey spokesman Steve Kelly told the Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari, adding that she is “a capable person.”