Despite her modest showing in the gubernatorial polls, former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty has shown she’s a skilled candidate that Pennsylvania Democrats should keep high on their political roster in the future.
McGinty, who has never run for elected office before, made it to the final four in a race that has seen a total of ten candidates jump in (and out) over the span of the last year. And we should not hesitate to ask her to jump into another race once this mess is over.
First, McGinty has shown a steadfast determination to stay positive in the gubernatorial race, even as her opponents have released negative ads against frontrunner Tom Wolf. Even in the debates themselves, while other candidates were slinging mud, McGinty was laser-focused on her message of better schools and better jobs.
In fact, in a news conference about Rob McCord’s attacks against Wolf, former Governor Ed Rendell said “I want to say one word about Katie McGinty, who when at the forum where this was raised was the only candidate who didn’t pile on, was the only candidate who continued to talk just about education.”
Second, McGinty has proven that she can raise money. By the time the primary is over, she will have raised close to $4 million dollars. That’s pretty prolific, relatively speaking. Should she choose to run for another office, she will have an already-established donor base to draw from.
Third, she has impressed people across the state by proving that she can garner endorsements and bring in star power. McGinty has received endorsements from elected officials in Centre, Northampton, Lehigh, Carbon, Schuykill, Fayette, Allegheny, and Dauphin Counties, plus labor groups.
In terms of bringing in the big guns, she has gained support from national figures like Al Gore, Robert Kennedy Jr., Bill Richardson, and Robert Rubin.
I don’t know what’s next for Katie McGinty. But it’s clear that later down the line she could easily mount a congressional campaign, compete in a row office race, or even consider running for Senate in 2016.
One thing’s for sure: when the May 20th primary is over, we need to make sure McGinty’s political career is just beginning.