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PA-Sen: Top Senator Makes Fundraising Pitch for McGinty

Katie_McGintyThere’s no doubt now, Katie McGinty is the establishment’s choice for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 Senate race.

The candidate has already received the help of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. This past week, though, she secured the endorsement and active support of Washington’s senior Senator Patty Murray.

“Katie is running to become the first female Senator from Pennsylvania, and I’m supporting her because I need her help in Washington,” Sen. Murray writes. “The race in Pennsylvania could absolutely be the race that determines control of the U.S. Senate.”

Murray served as the Chair of the DSCC from 2001 to 2003 and 2011 to 2013 and is generally regarded as one of the most influential Senators in D.C. For example, she and Rep. Paul Ryan worked together to create the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.

The Senator’s comments also indicate that McGinty’s chance to be the first female PA Senator will be a major component of her campaign (mirroring Hillary Clinton’s presidential plans).

McGinty is running against former Congressman Joe Sestak and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman in the Democratic primary. Incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Toomey is running for re-election.

44 Responses

  1. FYI, yes, she was endorsed by a woman along with a group of other women running. I don’t choose my candidates based on their sex or how many siblings they have. Katie has a great record of using the government to make herself rich. Not my kind of leader.

  2. McGinty can’t beat Toomey. She got 7% of the vote in the PA Dem primary.

    She doesn’t have a story to tell other than you CAN get really rich by working for the government for a few years and then going to work in the private sector that uses her for her political connections.

    She should be running a light night infomercial on how to get rich without actually accomplishing anything, rather than running for Senate. Truly a disgusting individual.

  3. “Newsflash”
    I see that you have adopted yet another name. You can attack Sestak all you want using different names here at PoliticsPA, but your message is always the same drivel. Who will you vote for if Sestak wins the primary??

  4. “the Admiral” is a flawed candidate and cannot win. Joe Sestak doesn’t even live in Pennsylvania. He lives in Virginia. His daughter is enrolled at and attends St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA. Look it up.

  5. Actually:
    Are you from the national democratic senate campaign or Nevada or some other center of influence outside of PA??-yeah, we have your number. You elites inside the Dem Establishment keep (unintentionally, I suspect) negatively branding McGinty’s campaign (thank you!!)—you just don’t get it, do you? Admiral Sestak is going to kick your establishment butts once again—then Sestak will defeat Toomey and the Club for Growth (ie: growth of more income for the elites and the establishment and nothing for the rest of PA/America). Thanks for your belittling of PA committeepeople—I am sure they will respond in kind. As for me–I’m not on state committee—you just enhanced my commitment to elect the Admiral.

  6. Barbara
    1) Don’t make that lazy comparison between Kane and McGinty. Kane is a dolt whose husband bought her an election. Katie has repeatedly proven her competency across a variety of roles in government. Women face enough opposition running for office, don’t just generalize them as one of a few stock characters
    2) Committee people doing work, ha, that’s a good one.
    3) It’s a part of the national legislature, I damn well care what the other US Senators have to say about the candidates that we are hoping they will be working with
    4) Nevada is outperforming PA in almost every metric (besides unemployment% which is misnomer for the actual job market) we should probably take some notes

  7. The last time we had an attractive candidate , female, with no experience in the job she was running for we got another Kate. When will party bosses learn to listen to the people who do the real work, the committee men and women. I am really tired of Washington pols judging who is best for Pennsylvania. They need improvements in their own states., like Nevada,

  8. Please Democrats, nominate her. I can’t wait to see more of her stupid ads where she says you should vote for her because she had to share the bathroom with 10 brothers & sisters when she was young. Nobody else has a resume like that!

  9. Times like this make me really wish Josh Shapiro ran.

    Or someone more credible from Pittsburgh.

  10. You know he lost in 2010, right? Costing us two seats? Turning into a pariah and then doing nothing but working for himself while mounting this pathetic comeback attempt? Yeah he’s a real wiener…

  11. french–
    Time will tell. I’m betting on Sestak. He always finds a way to be the WINNER.

  12. Sestak is a loser. And you seem to be his last line of defense. Go home (To Virginia with Joe)

  13. FYI:
    I believe it was established months ago that you may be working for McGinty–but, regardless, you have a right to put out her public relations materials. It just seems so insincere and a sign of concern that such detailed PR comes from her corner. Most people, like myself, simply insert a sentence of two supporting our candidate. Not much work by a commenter indicates the commenter is just an enthusiastic person, not a campaign staffer, perhaps? I know, there is ONE exception on these pages, a certain individual we all hear from frequently, but I do believe that person is not employed by anyone. Joe Sestak is a winner and he always finds a way to win, especially against the establishment’s candidate!

  14. Katie McGinty is by far the most qualified and prepared candidate to be the next US Senator from Pennsylvania. She’s the only candidate grounded in middle class Pennsylvania values. And she actually lives here unlike another candidate.

    Katie McGinty is a recognized leader in environmental protection, business investment, job growth, and energy innovation. With more than twenty-five years of experience in public service and the private sector, Katie knows how to solve big problems at the highest levels, and she knows how to fight for working families. In Katie, Democrats throughout Pennsylvania have an energetic and compassionate voice to fight for middle class families.

    Katie was born in northeast Philadelphia the ninth of ten kids to a police officer and a hostess. After attending college and law school on scholarships, she worked her way up within the Clinton Administration, eventually serving as a trusted advisor to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore as the first woman to chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Later, she served our state and Governor Ed Rendell as the first female Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. Since 2008, Katie has been working in the private sector helping to drive sustainable business development.

  15. Republicans already said they will exploit McGinty’s revolving door to riches via the corporation to government, back to corporate, back to government route her career so manifests. The Admiral has NO such weakness. The Admiral has the veterans–Toomey’s million dollar ads a few months ago indicate Toomey fears the veteran vote. Ground game all belongs to Sestak. Sestak finds ways to win. He is a WINNER and we need Toomey out. The establishment lost to Sestak before and they are still mad. Hence, their picking McGinty to carry their water.

  16. Joe has also shown that he can’t work well with others, whether its staff or his would-be fellow Senators. McGinty is relatively inexperienced, but she can grow into the role over a longer term and has the support of the people she needs to work with to get anything done.

  17. PA needs to pick McGinty. I really like Fetterman and think he’ll do great things in the future, but I think U.S. Senate is too much too soon for him. I’m excited to see what his future has in store, however. Sestak is a has-been who can’t raise money, can’t run an office and will only be able to serve 1-2 terms maximum anyways because of his age.

  18. McGinty’s revolving door to $$-

    It’s more than just “not liking” Joe. I think Joe has been a blight on PA politics. Look at the numbers:

    1) $3+ million to win the 7th
    2) $4+ million he raised for re-election to “hold the seat”, but didn’t spend, instead putting on failed Senate bid
    3) $2+ million raised by Lentz to defend seat that Sestak abandoned (and we lost Lentz’s seat that he gave up to run for congress)
    4) $10 million cash-on-hand that Specter had that never got spend against Toomey
    5) several million more post-primary for general election

    So, Sestak has manged to piss-away over $20 million with nothing to show for it but:
    1 term in congress (where he voted for Bush’s Iraq spending)
    and 2nd term in Congress where Sestak was completely AWOL because he was running for Senate

    That doesn’t even take into account how Sestak has damaged and undermined the party (and the President with job-gate).

    Sestak is just a disaster, who doesn’t even live in PA.

  19. David Diano:
    You are full of generalizations and you shed more heat than light regarding the ‘facts’ about your total dislike of Sestak. Everyone now “gets” where you are coming from. You don’t like the guy. We get it.

  20. Randy Paul

    I believe the new HQ is in Media (because money was paid to a Media rental firm), but I don’t know where it is and there has been no Grand Opening launch announcement that I’ve seen.

    The problem with Joe’s “constant flux” of volunteers is that there is no institutional knowledge built up and everyone keeps starting over from scratch. The worker-bees he gets are very inexperienced (because anyone with experience realizes he’s terrible to work for). Sestak micro-manages everything, and he can’t get a good campaign manager or field director who will stand up to him.

    For all Joe’s field work, he’s not knocked on millions of doors, and most people will learn/decide about the candidates through TV/radio ads, mailings, and party/union endorsements.

    It’s unclear how the newspapers will go with their endorsements, and Fetterman has an equal shot on that battlefield.

    But you used the right word: “cult” for Joe’s followers.

    “when a candidate makes an impression on a voter” … in Joe’s case the impression of many is: “creepy”

    There haven’t been any recent polls, but McGinty was pretty close to Sestak in the previous polls (and within the margin of error in a few). Once McGinty actually starts advertising, Sestak will be left in the dust, and doesn’t have the money to compete on the airwaves.

    Sestak’s going to have a tough time with his anti-establishment rhetoric without the backlash of appearing anti-union and having to explain why NO unions are supporting him.

  21. Partial List of People who endorsed Katie McGinty:

    U.S. Senators:
    Patty Murray, United States Senator from Washington
    Harry Reid, United States Senator from Nevada and Democratic Leader of the United States Senate

    Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania
    Tom Wolf, Governor of Pennsylvania

    U.S. Representatives:
    Bob Brady, U.S. Representative and Chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee
    Michael F. Doyle, U.S. Representative

    State legislators:
    Jim Brewster, State Senator
    Dom Costa, State Representative
    Jay Costa, State Senator and Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate
    Paul Costa, State Representative
    Dan Deasy, State Representative
    Anthony M. DeLuca, State Representative
    Frank Dermody, State Representative and Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
    Wayne D. Fontana, State Senator
    Dan Frankel, State Representative
    Ed Gainey, State Representative
    Mark Gergely, State Representative
    Bill Kortz, State Representative
    Joe Markosek, State Representative

    Mayors and other municipal leaders:
    Cindy Bass, Philadelphia City Councilwoman
    Jannie Blackwell, Philadelphia City Councilwoman
    Kim Bracey, Mayor of York
    Alan Butkovitz, Philadelphia City Controller
    Darrell Clarke, Philadelphia City Council President
    Carolyn Comitta, Mayor of West Chester
    William Courtright, Mayor of Scranton
    John DeFazio, Allegheny County Councilman
    Bob Donchez, Mayor of Bethlehem
    Mike Finnerty, Allegheny County Councilman
    Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive
    Nick Futules, Allegheny County Councilman
    Dan Gilman, Pittsburgh City Councilman
    Elizabeth Goreham, Mayor of State College
    Rick Gray, Mayor of Lancaster
    Sandra Green, Mayor of Kutztown
    William Greenlee, Philadelphia City Councilman At-Large
    Bobby Henon, Philadelphia City Councilman
    Frank Janakovic, Mayor of Johnstown
    Curtis Jones, Jr., Philadelphia City Councilman
    Theresa Kail-Smith, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman
    Bruce Kraus, Pittsburgh City Council President
    Daniel Lavelle, Pittsburgh City Councilman
    Thomas Leighton, Mayor of Wilkes-Barre
    Bob Macey, Allegheny County Councilman
    Chuck Martoni, Allegheny County Councilman
    Josh Maxwell, Mayor of Downingtown
    James Muldowney, Mayor of Pottsville
    Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia
    Corey O’Connor, Pittsburgh City Councilman
    John F. Palmiere, Allegheny County Councilman
    Sal Panto Jr., Mayor of Easton
    Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh
    Blondell Reynolds Brown, Philadelphia City Councilwoman At-Large
    Natalia Rudiak, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman
    Mark Squilla, Philadelphia City Councilman

    Austin Davis, Allegheny County Democratic Committee Vice Chairman
    Nancy Mills, Allegheny County Democratic Committee Chairwoman
    Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List

    Labor Unions:
    Amalgamated Transit Union
    Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85
    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
    Operating Engineers Local 542
    Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals
    Sheet Metal Workers Local 19
    United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776
    United Steelworkers

    EMILY’s List

  22. Senator Murray needs to butt out, as does Senator Reid. They can move here to PA or worry about who WA and NV select for the US Senate.

  23. David-

    I thought his HQ was in Media, PA? I could be mistaken.

    And while we both agree his staff burns out quickly, he still has a constant flux of staffers who work field. Some may work for a few months, then quit. Some may have stayed on. But the turnover continues. And the field work still gets done. Campaigns are won through door-knocking and phone banking.

    My point being: Considering that he’s been doing this, either with staff or by himself since 2011, it still makes him a difficult candidate to beat. Average voters, who don’t know Joe or the issues in general, will have had more face-time with him than the other candidates. This is probably why he’s built up a cult of followers, as seen on this website and on his facebook/twitter/youtube pages.

    Yes, maybe it will fall to pieces. But when a candidate makes an impression on a voter, and that candidate’s been doing it for years, they might remember to vote come election day.

  24. Randy Paul-

    “Sestak has been campaigning for years and has developed a field team for the past year and a half.”


    That “team” will crumble as Sestak underpays and overworks them. It’s actually pretty small (though I haven’t seen the latest campaign finance reports to count the staff). Sestak (so far to my knowledge) doesn’t have any experienced staff, but rather underpaid interns, and staff paid as “consultants” to avoid paying their benefits and wage taxes.

    McGinty’s field operation for Philly will likely have Brady pushing her as the endorsed candidate and lot of “walking-around-money” (aka bribes) above/under the table for the committee people to push McGinty at the polls. Sestak isn’t going to be able to pay for that or compete. He won’t have enough money for field operations and the statewide advertising on TV.

    Fetterman’s field operations are more likely to rely upon progressive activist and Team Bernie people with nothing to do once Bernie drops out after super Tuesday. Fetterman would seem more likely to get a lot of volunteers, while Sestak and McGinty would utilize more paid staff.

    The McGinty campaign could easily raid the Sestak campaign by offering the staffers better pay and work conditions.

    BTW, does anyone know the location of Sestak’s secret campaign headquarters?

    In the 3rd quarter report, he paid some $40,000 for rent on an HQ, enhancements/upgrades on the building, and utilities. But, I’ve seen NO announcement of a grand-opening. He paid for this HQ in the first few days of July (right after the June 30th deadline for the 2nd quarter) to hide the expense for a few months (even though McGinty and Fetterman had not yet entered the race).

    I get his idiotic newsletters and requests for donations, but I’ve never noticed a single mention of an office in the six months since he paid for it. VERY strange.

  25. At first, I suspected McGinty would win just from money and strong endorsements alone (which traditionally equates to votes). But until she builds up a field operation, this race could easily go against her.

    Sestak has been campaigning for years and has developed a field team for the past year and a half. That will be hard to beat unless she does something soon.

    I respect Sen. Murray and think she’s done a great job in Washington. But these strong endorsements won’t mean much to blue-collar workers in Central PA or Medical workers in the Pittsburgh area.

    Time is not on her side. Money is, but time is not.

  26. McGinty’s revolving door to $$-

    Hard to say where McGinty would go if she loses.

    But, when Sestak loses, he’s going to pack up and sell his house in PA (that doubles as a campaign storage facility), and slink back to his real home in Virginia.

    If Fetterman loses, he will continue his work in Braddock, and maybe expand upon it with his greater name recognition.

  27. What corporation will McGinty go to “work” for if she does not win this latest political gamble?

  28. McGinty’s revolving door to $$

    1) A dead cat (who didn’t vote) would be better than Toomey.
    2) A Dem Senator that voted with the majority of the Dems on every vote, would be perfectly acceptable.

    Given the difference between that and Toomey, anyone meeting that criteria would be acceptable. So, McGinty is more than qualified.

  29. “Jessica Jones says:
    December 28, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Katie went to work for wolf after she lost. That’s a team player.”

    She collected a paycheck for 8 months, padded her resume, and quit mid-impasse to run for Senate. She accomplished nothing as Chief of Staff. How is that being a team player?

  30. Revolving door,
    Give it up. Youre clearly a campaign shill for sestak. That or a sexist who can’t acknowledge that Katie is SO much more qualified. Sestak has done nothing but harm to the party and if NOBODY is going to endorse him now, how the heck is he going to work for our goals in congress? Katie went to work for wolf after she lost. That’s a team player. With DC the way it is today, we need more team players, not crazy Mavericks like sestak. He’d be like a democratic Ted Cruz in the senate.

  31. David Diano:
    It will be interesting to see who is funding McGinty’s campaign. She should be running for Mayor of Braddock or, at most, for Congress. To assume she can be a U.S. Senator (or PA’s Governor) is overly ambitious and speaks to the fact that the puppeteers needed a puppet and McGinty is ever so glad to do their bidding. Even a $1.1 million revolving door candidate should work her way up the ladder. It is arrogant and pompous for McGinty to assume she is entitled to hold any office she and the establishment deems to be in their interests.

  32. @watcher isn’t it good to have a former governor tryin to raise money for you?? And the pics problem is common here. I think the rafferty pic they use is from 2003…

  33. dem-

    My objection was to your characterization of his mayorship. He lives there (not in some fancy mansion) with his wife and kids. So, he’s invested in making Braddock a better place, instead of leaving it for a better place.

    How would he operate in the Senate?

    Well, for one thing, if he was there instead of Toomey that’s one flipped vote.

    Secondly, I would assume he’d align himself with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

  34. Two signs McGinty is not the machine David D thinks she is:
    Her campaign just used Rendell for an email fundraising blast, and her campaign can’t get PoliticsPA to use her make over picture.

  35. David, I don’t doubt that he has done some good for the community. Fetterman has a good heart and I think he is a valuable part of Braddock, but that alone does not qualify someone for a part of the national legislature. He ignores city council and funds everything through his non-profit. I get that the braddock council was corrupt for a long time, and he doesnt want to play their game, but how will he operate in the us senate with the gop?

    This piece from 2011 I believe gives a more grounded analysis of what he’s done.

    So where did the initial funding come from for all of this that Braddock Redux provides? Recently, Levi’s and Paul Renne have thrown big numbers his way, but before that it was funded by family money, as mentioned in that article.

    Again, I like fetterman. He’s a truly charitable leader who I think will continue to do good for Braddock. I just think senate is the wrong job and that if he wasn’t shrek sized that he wouldnt even be in the conversation.

  36. Dem-

    “Rich kid buys himself mayorship with his parents money”?? The “mayorship” pays less than $200/month.

    How about: Rich kid lives in devastated community for a decade helping people get GED’s and trying to rebuild the town and reduce crime/violence.

  37. Unknown, his story reads a little differently when you pick through the weird media obsession:

    Rich kid buys himself mayorship with his parents money, passes no legislation, does nothing to create sustainable jobs or economic growth, and is credited as a modern progressive jesus because he’s funny looking and went to harvard.

    I’m still undecided on this primary between joe, who I was a big supporter of in ’10, and katie who was def my 2nd choice behind wolf in ’14 and looks to be the much better fundraiser. But look at their records. You got a 3 star admiral who served in congress; and a trusted as a top advisor to a us president and 2 pa governors.

    The us senate is about passing good legislation, not the community service that has been the crowning achievement of fetterman’s time in braddock. John’s a good guy, but should wait for the main stage until the town is really something. If he leaves braddock now, what happens to it?

  38. Philadelphia Magazine’s current piece on Fetterman (entitled “Giant Underdog” and written by Dan McQuade) was quite compelling – and quite flattering.

  39. Three more days until the end of the quarter.

    Any predictions on how much McGinty has passed Sestak in fundraising for the quarter?

    This is McGinty’s first full quarter, and I’d be shocked if she got less than double or triple what Sestak took in. I don’t know if she’ll pass him on Cash-on-Hand just yet, but I expect it to be close if she doesn’t.

    I’ll make this prediction: That the difference between how much McGinty raised over Sestak this quarter is bigger than the remaining cash-on-hand difference.

    That means that if McGinty hasn’t already passed Sestak in cash-on-hand that the performance difference this quarter will make it clear that McGinty will be far ahead of Sestak during the next quarter.

    I’m also looking forward to seeing how Fetterman does in his first full quarter. If his fundraising is at all comparable with Sestak, that’s going to increase his viability even more.

    I’d love to see Fetterman crush Sestak. Beating him in the primary would also be nice. 🙂

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