Katie McGinty

Abortion Gets Heavy Attention In Pennsylvania Senate Race

15 hours ago
Margaret J. Krauss

The battle to persuade swing voters in Pennsylvania's close U.S. Senate race includes a heavy emphasis on abortion rights.

This week it's bringing the presidents of Planned Parenthood and NARAL to moderate southeastern Pennsylvania to campaign for Democrat Katie McGinty.

McGinty supports abortion rights, and her allies have spent millions on TV ads attacking Republican incumbent Pat Toomey's record. Toomey opposes abortion rights, with exceptions for rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.

He's also voted to halt federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

Jared Wickerham / AP Photo

On Monday afternoon, candidates in the Pennsylvania race for U.S. Senate taped the first of two debates at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. The outcome of the election could determine whether Republicans maintain the Senate majority.

Katie McGinty and incumbent Senator Pat Toomey attacked each other on state and national issues, including gun control, coal and steel jobs, and Obamacare.

In a charged exchange, they argued over who supported police more, both stating they'd received support from police unions and organizations.

via WITF


The first debate is set of a hotly contested Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race that could decide whether the GOP hangs onto its Senate majority.

Republican incumbent Pat Toomey will square off against Democratic challenger Katie McGinty today.

The hour-long debate will be taped at 1 p.m. at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh and broadcast at 7 p.m.

It will be made available to stations in other media markets across the state.

Differences over national security, tax policy, gun rights, abortion and immigration are prominent issues in the race.

Joseph B. Fay Co.

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program .

Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Topics scheduled for this week's discussion include the myriad transportation issues facing the city. Plans to help immigrants in Pittsburgh thrive and the virtual dead heat in the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Katie McGinty and Republican Pat Toomey.

Russell Lee (Public Domain), via Wikimedia Commons

Roughly 100,000 retired coal miners across the U.S. are collecting pensions, but there isn’t enough money left in the system.

Some coal miners are planning to rally in Washington D.C. Thursday in an effort to convince lawmakers to release nearly $300 million in federal funds needed to shore up deleted pension programs. About 12,000 retired miners in Pennsylvania stand to benefit from it.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

90.5 WESA’s weekly news program The Confluence – where the news comes together – debuts Friday.

Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. 

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Democratic Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Candidate Katie McGinty rolled out her jobs creating package Wednesday during a stop in Pittsburgh.

She said manufacturing jobs are a part of Pittsburgh’s past, but also need to be a part of its future.

“The cutting edge of manufacturing is not about cheap labor,” McGinty said while standing in front of the “Industry” mural at the Allegheny County Courthouse. “It’s about skilled labor, plus technology, plus speed to market.”

At a recent campaign stop in Philadelphia, Senate Democratic candidate Katie McGinty faced a tough crowd: 4-year olds.

"Hi! How's everybody doin'?" McGinty said, as she entered the Western Learning Center, an early childhood program for local families.

McGinty stopped here Tuesday to tout her economic agenda with a small group of local parents, but first, it was story time.

Matt Slocum / AP

U.S. Democratic Senate contender Katie McGinty went on the offense Monday, seeking to paint her opponent, incumbent Republican Pat Toomey, as an insincere flip-flopper.

Throughout her campaign, McGinty has played up her own working-class angle, presenting herself as a first-generation college grad—a claim she recently edited into a first generation four-year­ college grad—and a champion of the working class.

Toomey is the opposite, she said. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Donald Trump’s poll numbers are down in Pennsylvania—he currently trails opponent Hillary Clinton by nearly nine points in a recent state average.

But that’s not just bad news for Trump.

In election years, down-ballot races are always affected by the presidential contest. This year’s Senate contest between Democrat Katie McGinty and Republican incumbent Pat Toomey is no exception.

Wes Leckrone, who teaches political science at Widener University, said he is predicting Trump won’t win Pennsylvania.

Mary Altaffer / AP

The Republican National Convention wraps up in Cleveland tonight with speeches from prominent republicans, religious leaders, business moguls and presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Katie McGinty said she has been struck by the negative tone of the gathering.

Medill DC / Flickr

Pennsylvania's junior U.S. senator watched his anti-sanctuary city legislation come up short on Wednesday.

Republican Pat Toomey’s proposal is seen by some as largely a byproduct of running for office in an election year dominated by partisan issues. 

The measure would have cut off certain federal funding to cities, like Philadelphia, where jails and police don’t cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

In the past, Toomey was best known for his fiscal conservatism.

Aside from the White House race, there's another important battle this November that shouldn't be overlooked — the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Democrats in Pennsylvania chose their party establishment's choice for a U.S. Senate candidate and rejected an ex-congressman who six years ago nearly won the office.

Katie McGinty, who spent more than a decade as a state and federal environmental policy official, got millions of dollars from the party and its allies that helped her side heavily outspend her rivals. She received endorsements from top Democrats, from President Barack Obama on down.

Democratic Senate Candidates Spar Over Fracking

Apr 7, 2016
Matt Slocum / AP


The Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate is heating up, and sparks are flying on a topic that’s always hot in Pennsylvania—fracking.

At a debate this week, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman and former congressman and Navy Vice Admiral Joe Sestak both tried to brand their opponent, Katie McGinty, as a friend of fracking.

They targeted McGinty’s record as former secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Ed Rendell. She left the department in 2008, just as the fracking boom was getting started.

A Conversation With U.S. Senate Primary Candidate Katie McGinty

Apr 5, 2016
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

  President Obama and Vice-President Biden have thrown their support behind our guest Katie McGinty. She’s one of three candidates running in the U. S. Senate primary where the winner will go on to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey in November's election.   McGinty is looking to return to Washington where she was once a key environmental advisor in the Clinton administration.

DBKING / Flickr

Pennsylvania's Democratic Party committee members went through a divisive process of buttonholing, cajoling and promising on Saturday but ultimately could not deliver endorsements in contested primary races for U.S. senator and state attorney general.  

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The three democrats vying for a chance to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey discussed their stances on the issues at Carnegie Mellon University's candidate forum on Sunday.

John Fetterman

With just over three months to election day, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman will have to step up his fundraising efforts to catch up with his two Democratic primary rivals in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race.

Fetterman is running a populist campaign, and lately he's been trying to borrow some momentum from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who's popularity is surging in Iowa.

Fetterman endorsed the socialist candidate earlier this week, and spoke about it Thursday night on Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show."

Katie McGinty / facebook

Katie McGinty confirmed Tuesday that she will seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2016.

McGinty's announcement was expected. She stepped down from her role as Gov. Tom Wolf's chief of staff last month after fellow Democrats lobbied her to run.

"As Governor Wolf's chief of staff, I've seen that as he is working hard for our families, we need partners in Washington to help solve problems, not make them worse," said McGinty in a web video released by her campaign.

Wolf Names Isenhour As New Chief Of Staff

Jul 23, 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday said goodbye and good luck to his chief of staff for the past six months and turned to his legislative liaison, Mary Isenhour, to step in as his top aide.

Katie McGinty resigned Wednesday and is expected to launch a bid for U.S. Senate in 2016 after being courted intensively by national Democrats. She would not confirm Thursday that she intends to run.

AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File

Katie McGinty, chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf, is stepping down, reportedly to prepare for an announcement of her candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Wolf's spokesman said McGinty submitted her resignation Wednesday, first reported by the National Journal. She has been considering a U.S. Senate run for the past few weeks.

McGinty's departure comes as Wolf is still trying to hammer out a budget agreement with a GOP-controlled Legislature. But a feud with Senate Republicans has smoldered for months since she took a shot at their proposal to change public pension benefits in May.

Katie McGinty / facebook

Former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty failed to win the Democratic nomination for Governor this spring, but she has nabbed one of the top spots in Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s administration. Wolf on Monday named McGinty his chief of staff.

McGinty said she’s anticipating a stark and sobering report from the Independent Fiscal Office on Thursday.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The he said, she said debate over state education funding and the controversy surrounding former Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis made its way to Pittsburgh Wednesday morning.

Former gubernatorial hopeful Katie McGinty spoke in the Allegheny County Courthouse gallery, criticizing Gov. Tom Corbett and stumping for Democratic nominee Tom Wolf.

McGinty is chairwoman of the Campaign for a Fresh Start, a new organization working in tandem with Wolf’s campaign for governor and the campaigns of Democratic legislative nominees statewide.

Wolf Wins Four-Way Democratic Primary For Governor

May 20, 2014
Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

Tom Wolf, the man in the Jeep from York County, has won the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the November general election.

Wolf took roughly 58 percent of the Democratic vote, with none of his opponents cresting the 20 percent mark.

To a few hundred supporters at Santander Stadium in York, Wolf said he’s running against the established record of the Corbett administration, which he said has made funding decisions that “hollow out” the commonwealth’s schools.

What to Know About the Four Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates

May 19, 2014
Essential Pittsburgh Staff / 90.5 WESA

Throughout the past year Allyson Schwartz, Tom Wolf, Rob McCord and Katie McGinty have all made their way to the 90.5 WESA Community Broadcast Center to talk about why Southwestern Pennsylvanians should choose them to be the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate. 

On Tuesday polls open for the Democratic primary election, so we've rebroadcast portions of those candidate conversations.

Dem Campaign Websites and Facebook

Candidates in a field of four Democrats are fighting to earn the right to take on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett in the November General Election. Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to make the selection.

Western Pennsylvania could play a major role in the outcome. None of the candidates have ties to the region but many political insiders think the way Allegheny County falls will dictate who wins the election.

Funding for education, taxing gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale, and growing the economy were among some of the topics that played large during the run up to the election.

Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

The four Democratic gubernatorial candidates have talked about their personal stories, their support for greater education funding, and finding ways to generate revenue.

But judging by the warnings from credit rating agencies, the largest financial headache facing the commonwealth is what it owes in future pension payouts to state and school retirees. And when it comes to paying off that debt, the Democratic candidates aren't exactly bubbling over with ideas.

With few policy differences among them, the four candidates running for the Democratic nomination for governor assumed familiar positions at their final debate before the May 20 primary.

Tom Wolf, far ahead of the competition according to recent polls, offered high-brow answers to challenges that he’s not qualified to be governor after running a business in York and being state revenue secretary for two years.

“I think if I’m unqualified — someone like me is unqualified — that’s a serious indictment of our democracy,” Wolf said.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Being “pro-recess” earned businessman and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf the biggest laugh of the night, but it was PA Treasurer Rob McCord, who is also running in the May 20 primary, who picked up the widest applause when he stepped to the microphone in Tuesday’s debate and simply said, “I’d kill ‘em” to the question of what each candidate would do with the high-stakes Keystone Exams.