Katie McGinty

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Katie McGinty
Kathleen McGinty (2015).jpg
Chief of Staff to the Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 20, 2015 – July 23, 2015
GovernorTom Wolf
Preceded byLeslie Gromis-Baker
Succeeded byMary Isenhour
Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Protection
In office
January 2003 – July 2008
GovernorEd Rendell
Preceded byDavid Hess
Succeeded byJohn Hanger
Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
In office
January 5, 1995 – November 7, 1998
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byMichael Deland
Succeeded byGeorge Frampton
Personal details
Kathleen Alana McGinty

(1963-05-11) May 11, 1963 (age 56)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Karl Hausker
EducationSt. Joseph's University (BS)
Columbia University (JD)
WebsiteCampaign website

Kathleen Alana McGinty (born May 11, 1963) is a retired American politician and former state and federal environmental policy official.[1] She served as an environmental advisor to Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton. Later, she served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in the cabinet of Governor Ed Rendell.

Prior to the nomination of Lisa P. Jackson, she was mentioned as a possible United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President Barack Obama,[2] and as a possible candidate to succeed Ed Rendell as Governor of Pennsylvania, but was not a candidate in the 2010 election.[3]

McGinty was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014.[4] After Democrat Tom Wolf won Pennsylvania's 2014 gubernatorial election, he appointed McGinty as his Chief of Staff.[5]

On August 4, 2015, she officially announced her candidacy for the United States Senate in 2016.[6] McGinty won the Democratic nomination on April 26, 2016, but lost in a close election, with 47.34% of the vote, to incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, who garnered 48.77% in the general election.

McGinty now serves as the Senior Vice President of the Oceans Program for the Environmental Defense Fund.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

McGinty grew up in Northeast Philadelphia.[8][9] She graduated from St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, Saint Joseph's University in 1985 (with a BS in chemistry), and Columbia Law School in 1988 (with a JD). She earned a Judicial Clerkship appointment to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington upon graduating from Columbia.[8][10]


After law school, McGinty clerked for a federal judge but did not ultimately take the bar exam or practice law.[8] She won a Congressional Fellowship after crafting a strategy to bring technology jobs back to the United States and became a legislative assistant to Al Gore when he was serving as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee. In 1993, she became a deputy assistant to President Bill Clinton. She chaired the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 1995-98. Katie moved to India in 1999 where she worked at the Tata Energy Research Institute, forging new partnerships between US and Indian clean energy companies to help address climate change, an effort that supported the negotiation of new environmental agreements between the US and India.

In 2003 she was appointed as the Secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, serving in Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's administration for over five years.[11]

In the private sector, McGinty led a business cleaning up and redeveloping "brownfield properties" and developing renewable energy projects. As an Operating Partner with a private equity fund, she helped build successful growth strategies for mid-stage clean energy, water, and efficiency companies. She also started her own small company, and has been a Director on public and private company boards. Specifically, McGinty served as Chair of the Audit Committee of Iberdrola USA, as Chair of the Nuclear Subcommittee of the Board of NRGEnergy, and as member of the boards of Weston Solutions, ECORE International Inc., Thar Energy, and Proton Energy Systems. McGinty also served on the Advisory Boards of early stage companies including Petra Solar, AE Polysilicon, Plextronics and GridPoint.

McGinty currently serves on the boards of the Energy Futures Initiative, the Committee of Seventy, and the American Sustainable Business Council.

McGinty is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. She received Honorary Doctorates from Muhlenberg University, Dickinson College, and Clarion State University. She was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. She was awarded the Ansel Adams Award by the Wilderness Society for Exceptional Commitment to Conservation. And she was named Woman of the Year by the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment.

Political campaigns[edit]

2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On April 12, 2013, McGinty announced she would be a candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014.[4] McGinty finished fourth in the primary behind Allyson Schwartz, Rob McCord, and eventual general election winner Tom Wolf, who appointed her his chief of staff. She served in that capacity from January 2015 until July 2015, amid speculation that she was considering running for the United States Senate in the 2016 election.[12]

2016 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

On August 4, 2015, McGinty officially announced her candidacy for the United States Senate in 2016. She was endorsed by EMILY's List, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and President Barack Obama.[13][14]

In April 2016, she defeated former U.S. Representative Joe Sestak and Mayor John Fetterman in the Democratic primary.[15] As of June 30, 2016, financial disclosures showed that McGinty's campaign had spent $4,312,688 and raised $6,713,202.[16]

The Senate election between McGinty and incumbent Republican Pat Toomey was among the most expensive Senate races in America. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, as of October 2016, more than $52 million had been spent on the general and primary election between the two candidates.[17]

In the general election on November 8, 2016, she was defeated by Toomey. McGinty received 47.34% of the vote.[18]

Personal life[edit]

McGinty is married to Karl Hausker. They have three daughters and reside in Wayne, Pennsylvania.[19]

Electoral history[edit]

2014 Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Democratic primary[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Wolf 488,917 57.86
Democratic Allyson Schwartz 149,027 17.64
Democratic Robert McCord 142,311 16.84
Democratic Katie McGinty 64,754 7.66
Total votes 845,009 100
2016 United States Senate Democratic primary in Pennsylvania[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Katie McGinty 669,774 42.50
Democratic Joe Sestak 513,221 32.57
Democratic John Fetterman 307,090 19.49
Democratic Joseph Vodvarka 85,837 5.45
Total votes 1,575,922 100.00
United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2016 [22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Pat Toomey (inc.) 2,951,702 48.77%
Democratic Katie McGinty 2,865,012 47.34%
Libertarian Edward T. Clifford III 235,142 3.89%
Total votes 6,051,856 100.00%
Republican hold Swing NA


  1. ^ Levy, Marc (April 26, 2016). "Pennsylvania Democrats pick establishment's Senate candidate". Charlotte Observer. Associated Press. Retrieved April 27, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ 3 possibilities for Obama's EPA chief Shiffman, John and Jonathan Tamari. The Philadelphia Inquirer. November 22, 2008; accessed December 5, 2008. Archived January 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Rendell casts doubt over McGinty's EPA chances.Roarty, Alex. PolitickerPA.com December 1, 2008; accessed December 5, 2008. Archived December 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Thomas Fitzgerald (April 14, 2013). "McGinty becomes second woman seeking to be Pennsylvania governor". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  5. ^ "Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf Names Kathleen McGinty Incoming Chief of Staff". Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  6. ^ Tamari, Jonathan (August 4, 2015). "Dem McGinty announces run for US Senate". Philly.com. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "Kathleen (Katie) McGinty". Environmental Defense Fund. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Philly native Katie McGinty might be the political surprise of 2014". Philly.com. Associated Press. November 19, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Levy, Marc (January 3, 2016). "Three Dems will seek nod to run against U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey". Delco Times. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  11. ^ Jackson, Peter (March 19, 2013). "Ex-Pa. DEP chief McGinty weighing run for governor". Daily Times News. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  12. ^ Olson, Laura; Esack, Steve (July 23, 2015). "Katie McGinty resigns from governor's office post, clearing way for U.S. Senate run". The Morning Call. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Roarty, Alex (April 21, 2016). "Pennsylvania Democrats Want to Know: Why McGinty?". Roll Call. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  14. ^ "Obama, Biden endorse McGinty in Pa. Senate primary". Philly.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  15. ^ "McGinty wins Pennsylvania Senate primary". POLITICO. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  16. ^ "Congressional Elections: Pennsylvania Senate Race: 2016 Cycle". opensecrets.org. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "Money talks loudly in attack ads for Pennsylvania's Senate campaign". philly-archives. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  18. ^ "Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Results: Patrick J. Toomey Wins". The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  19. ^ Daniels, Melissa (March 23, 2014). "Gubernatorial candidate McGinty builds name recognition, support". Trib Live. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ "April 26, 2016 Primary Election Official Returns". Pennsylvania Secretary of State. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 13, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Deland
Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
Succeeded by
George T. Frampton Jr.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joe Sestak
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
(Class 3)

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