Archive

ShareThis Page
McGinty to become Wolf’s chief of staff in governor’s office | TribLIVE.com
News

McGinty to become Wolf’s chief of staff in governor’s office

Tribune-Review
| Monday, November 10, 2014 11:31 a.m

HARRISBURG — Democrat Tom Wolf on Monday appointed his former primary election opponent, Katie McGinty, as chief of staff to oversee his administration when he becomes governor on Jan. 21.

McGinty, 51, of Philadelphia will assist with Wolf’s transition plans. She played a key role in his general election campaign, heading the Campaign for a Fresh Start, after finishing fourth in the May primary.

McGinty made frequent campaign appearances on Wolf’s behalf, and Fresh Start led the attack on Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign.

Wolf cited McGinty’s experience in government and the private sector, predicting that she “will be an asset to my administration and to the people of Pennsylvania.” She worked with “diverse interests to achieve meaningful change in difficult environments,” he said in a statement, noting, “Her experience will help me work with Republicans and Democrats.”

The appointment unites two former cabinet secretaries of ex-Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell. They’ll have the daunting prospect of carrying out Wolf’s agenda with a Legislature in which Republicans strengthened their numbers last week.

Among his campaign promises, Wolf, 65, a York businessman, proposes substantially boosting funding for K-12 public education and paying for it, in part, with a severance tax he wants to impose on natural gas drilling.

At the same time, the state faces a projected budget deficit of $1 billion to $2 billion.

Wolf and McGinty know the workings of the Capitol. He was secretary of the Department of Revenue for 19 months in 2008 and 2009; McGinty headed the Department of Environmental Protection from 2003 to 2008.

McGinty’s outgoing personality and ability to win over critics earned her respect from some conservative lawmakers and analysts who disliked her policies. She brings the added advantage of Washington experience — something that could be critical since many state programs, from welfare to education, are intertwined with federal programs and funding.

McGinty chaired the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Clinton and was a legislative aide to former Sen. Al Gore, D-Tenn. Her connection to the Clintons could prove valuable if Hillary Clinton runs and wins the presidential race in two years.

Wolf and McGinty come from vastly different backgrounds.

He grew up in a Methodist family in the small town of Mt. Wolf in York County, named for one of his ancestors, where his family owns a furniture distribution company. He took over the Wolf Organization but will step down as chairman at year’s end.

McGinty grew up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a police officer and a waitress. She is one of 10 children in an Irish Catholic family.

Yet they share common experiences — including work in India and attendance at Ivy League universities.

McGinty spent a year with a research institute in India; Wolf served in the Peace Corps there. McGinty won scholarships to do undergraduate work at St. Joseph’s University and earned a law degree at Columbia University. Wolf attended Dartmouth College and the University of London, and earned a doctorate in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media’s state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.