Reader Poll: Who Should Democrats Nominate for State Party Chair?

McGinty-BurnWhen you capture your party’s nomination for the state’s top job, you officially become the state’s party leader. At least, that’s the message Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf is sending.

Last Wednesday, it was revealed that former DEP Secretary and gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty was running for state party chair. Not only that, but she was encouraged to do so by her former Rendell cabinet mate, and new Democratic nominee for Governor, Tom Wolf.

Yet current party chairman Jim Burn is pledging to fight on and has so far refused Wolf’s request to step aside.

Wolf began to furiously lobby for McGinty behind the scenes while many, include his running mate Lt. Gov. nominee Mike Stack, chose not to endorse either candidate.

So, with the decisive committee meeting coming up this weekend we decided to ask you our readers, who should the Democrats nominate as their party chair?

Who Should the Democratic Party Nominate as Committee Chair?


  • Jim Burn (75%)
  • Katie McGinty (25%)

Total Voters: 2,681

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June 17th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Poll, Top Stories | 29 Comments

29 thoughts on “Reader Poll: Who Should Democrats Nominate for State Party Chair?”

  1. JB says:

    Rendell was literally polling in the 30s (where is Corbett now?) and is despised everywhere outside of Philadelphia. He would not have beat Corbett in 2010. Philly came out for Onorato. Onorato got more votes out of Allegheny County than he ever did running for County Executive and he still lost the county. The ads ran in the Pittsburgh area put him squarely next to Rendell because he was SO unpopular at the time. If he was popular quoting someone else saying Ed was his role model wouldn’t have hurt him.

    If there was not a current Rendell backlash you would not even be having a discussion about the state committee. I don’t really care who wins. McGinty is a Rendell person and Jake Wheatley is a Dwight Evans guy. Wolf is a Rendell person.

    Maybe some of the committee men and women don’t like that?

    Some brainwashed dems have to come to terms with a few things and one is most people don’t like Rendell and have the notion that he is in it for Ed Rendell.

    And Sestak did cut Onorato I’ll agree there, but that isn’t why he lost. In 2010 it was a referendum on Obama and Rendell. I’ve never seen people so unhappy in my lifetime.

  2. JB-
    Rendell would have beaten Corbett.
    The GOP certainly piled on lie after lie about Obama, so that was part of the GOP sweep.

    But, Sestak deliberately sabotaged down-ticket Dem candidates to promote himself to swing voters by distancing himself from the Democratic party. He refused to participate in a coordinated campaign. And, when he won the Primary, he as a poor sport about it and made no attempt to embrace or reconcile with Specter supporters and turned away their help for the general election.

  3. JB says:

    David – you are right people were happy with Rendell and Obama but unhappy with Sestak. That created the red wave of 2010 nationwide and in PA. You got it nailed down.

  4. Greg says:

    Seriously one very important correction. The U.S. House districts in 2012 were the new highly gerrymandered districts based on the new census. While there was a delay based on court order in the state districts there was no legal challenge to the U.S House districts and the new districts were used in 2012

  5. 2010 was the result of an overall GOP bump and Sestak’s refusal to run a coordinated campaign.

    Sestak was at the “top of the ticket”, not Onorato, Obama nor Rendell.

    I’m sure Jim has some interesting horror stories about dealing with Sestak in 2010 (but, as chairman, he’s kept them to himself for party unity)

  6. JB says:

    Are you guys seriously pretending 2010 was the result of Jim Burn and not Obama/Rendell?

    I’m seriously asking. When Rendell left office his approval ratings were not much better than Corbett’s are now and Obama and Obamacare were both wildly unpopular.

    I’m not a committee person and I don’t really care about Jim Burn either way but any chance I had to stop Rendell from getting what he wants and farther milking the system, I’d probably take.

  7. Porter Randolph says:

    If Jim took over in 2010, do we really want the guy who gave coughed up the governor’s office, both houses of the legislature, and only had rough parity on the Supreme Court due to a resignation? Fairly or not, party leaders get blamed for bad electoral results, I know, I ran my township party when we lost all the seats we had gained 4 years earlier. I had the good sense to resign, but not everyone knows when its time to go. I’m not on state committee, so my vote doesn’t count, but I think Wolf should get his pick.

  8. Barbara Blum says:

    Our state committee people run for election every four years. One of their jobs is to choose the leaders. If you think a particular candidate should be selected contact your state committee person and tell him or her your views. Polling is not the way to go.

  9. Isaac L. says:

    Nice to see PoliticsPA cracking down on the fake posters – it was incredibly sophomoric and obnoxious!

  10. Seriously says:

    I have no bone to pick with Jim Burn but if his supporters are going to take credit for the PA statewide wins in 2012, he should also receive the credit for the losses in the U.S. House races, and the failure to recapture the state house since they were running in the pre-redistricting districts. He also should receive credit for losing the state house in 2010, losing the governor’s race (including his home county of Allegheny), and the US Senate race.

    Jim’s not a bad guy, but does he deserve credit for the wins? If so, he also deserves “credit” for the losses as well.

  11. Frank says:

    Tom Wolf – 67 out of 67 counties. Doesn’t that tell you something? Get serious.This is not personal, its about winning. And it’s Wolf’s pick.

  12. Jerry Hodge says:

    it has worked that way in the past. Democratic nominees for governor have always been given the chance to nominate their preferred chairperson. As the top officeholder of the state party, the Governor should be allowed his pick.

  13. State Committee Man says:

    How come nobody is asking why state committee is nearly broke with no financial stability or plan? What happens when Wolf wins and NOBODY gives money to the party? Jim Burns is a nice guy but not the person for the long term success of the party.

  14. PoliticsPA Readers says:

    Dave Diano for chair. ANYTHING to get him off these comment threads!

  15. buddy cianfrani says:

    No, David. The question members should ask is who does Ed Rendell want? Philly rules, baby!

  16. I think the state committee members who have been around the past 4 years have plenty of reasons to either want to keep Jim or replace him with someone new.

    State committee members should ask themselves:
    1) Has Jim done a good job?
    2) Has he helped them as state committee members (resources, training, ability/availability to address their concerns, questions and problems)?
    3) Does state committee seem better/stronger from the results of his efforts?
    4) Would Katie do a better job or not?

    Both candidates have their strengths.

    Wolf needs to make it VERY clear to the committee people this weekend, that he will respect whatever choice they make.

  17. Gretchen says:

    To all the people who are saying that since Wolf won the nomination, that means he gets to pick the Chair, it doesn’t work that way. Would love to know how many of your ward, city or county chairs each time there is an election. That doesn’t happen. ELECTED STATE COMMITTEE Members should ELECT the Chair. I will be working hard to elect Tom Wolf, but I will be voting for Jim Burn on Saturday.

  18. Greg says:

    I said it before and will post it again

    Jim has kept his commitment to encourage open debate at meetings, to help party build in all counties and to visit every county to gain an understanding of the needs and goals of local committees.

    Jim knows that to win statewide in 2014 you need to close the margins in the T and that is why he has devoted time over the last four years to visit and support all county committees.

    Under Jim’s leadership the PA Democratic Party has been active in defining Corbett and letting the public know the real Corbett record. Jim’s leadership was instrumental in helping the Dems win five of five statewide races in 2012.

    For all of these reasons and many more Jim Burn should be re-elected on June 21.

  19. David Diano says:

    Delco Observer-

    I’m the only one standing left.

    The admins at PoliticsPA have been zapping the fake postings, leaving my real ones.

    The more the fake poster attempts to impersonate me, the more digital footprint he leaves behind for the tech admins. If he keeps it up enough, they’ll have enough data on him to ban him from his own postings.

    So, the problem should correct (and punish) itself pretty soon if it attempts to continue.

  20. NEWLIBERAL_LION says:

    @Delco Observer Lol.

  21. Bruce From Lancaster says:

    I wonder if Rob McCord had won this primary and decided to make a party leadership change would the state committee people be making such a fuss?????? Since Rob had most of the county chairs in his pocket.

  22. Delco Observer says:

    Will the real David Diano please stand up

  23. Interested Observer says:

    Jim Burn did a fine job. His time is over. He needs to move on. Contrary to his supporters, the Dem Party did not start in 2010 when Jim became State Chair. And the Party will not end on June 21st when Jim is no longer the State Chair. Dems will go on and have a big year in PA because Dems have the superior candidates and Governor Corbett is so horrible. Tom Wolf is the leader of the Party…give him the things he needs to win and the Jim Burn supporters need to stop the bickering … it is really unbecoming of Jim’s tenure as Party Chair.

  24. Happy Valley-
    Do you have any evidence that Burn is directing his supporters to attack McGinty?

    I’ve seen plenty of attacks on Burn here, and one could claim McGinty was directing those.

    If Jim feels he’s done a good job, he has every right to run for reelection and let the state committee members judge his record for themselves.

    Wolf is the nominee, not the king. His preference should/does carry weight with the committee members, but it’s not a decree. They get to vote.

  25. Happy Valley says:

    If Jim Burn were the leader he claims to be, he would have urged people to stop their nasty posts attacking Wolf and McGinty. You know he’s been reading them.
    The Party is supposed to unite behind the nominee. All Burn is doing is giving aid and comfort to the Republicans, whose only hope is in seeing us fractured.
    Other than the ’12, which was mostly the Obama team’s doing, under Burn, the only election won in 3 years combined was one judge race. And he can’t raise money.
    Our choice isn’t Burn v. McGinty; it’s Burn v. Wolf. Wolf deserves the teammate he wants. How can Burn successfully lead a party he’s willingly dividing by refusing to respect the wishes of our nominee?

  26. To the fake poster posting as me-

    Your fascination with me is not as flattering as you might think. The site admins are doing a great job at policing the fake posts and deleting them.

    So, you are wasting your time and merely engaging in cyber-masturbation for a short thrill until your posts are taken down.

    If you want to post as “Fake David Diano” to continue your sophomoric giggling, go right ahead.

    But, as I have pointed out during the onslaught of fake PAINDY posts, there are advantages to posting under your own verifiable name/identity. The biggest advantage is that the site admins can take action. Not only to delete the offending posts, but through IP address tracking, cookies and other means, they can identify abusers and ban them if they persist.

    So, if you want to come after me, create an appropriate handle and let’s have at it, rather than make transparently fake posts under my name. Of course, if you had any balls at all, you’d just post under your real name.

    Thanks again to the site admins for policing the site to keep jokers from devaluing the experience for everyone.

  27. D. Miller says:

    This is a pure Ed Rendell play trying to take all the power out of Allegheny County in western Pennsylvania and give it back to Philadelphia we’ve already had eight years of that crap. Tom Wolff will be controlled by Ed Rendell. Ed Randel was a terrible governor for western pa. Everything went back to Philadelphia

  28. Slim-

    The Dems vote for party chair every 4 years. This is nothing new or surprising.

    99.9% of the voters in PA could not name the Dem party chairman. Voters aren’t going to vote for Corbett over Wolf because the Dems had two chose between two candidates for an internal party position.

  29. Slim James says:

    Nothing like the Dems picking a fight within their ranks right before a big election. It is their election to lose.

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