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Is This Vanquished 2016 Democratic Candidate Mulling Another Run?

With Lt. Gov Mike Stack (D-PA) under investigation, Gov. Tom Wolf (PA) may need a new running partner for 2018. Could failed 2016 Senate candidate Katie McGinty be in the mix?

Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) ordered an investigation of his number two, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack (D-PA) last week, raising questions about the team’s 2018 re-election bid. Developments over the last 24 hours suggest, however, that the 2016 Democratic nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, Katie McGinty, may be angling for the position if Wolf decides to dump Stack.

On Monday, McGinty appeared on the campaign trail with Rich Negrin, who has been seeking the office of Philadelphia District Attorney.

Then, on Tuesday, McGinty published an op-ed in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. The piece touted her experience fighting for coal miners during her tenure as secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

She also criticized President Trump for failing to look out for miners, and she praised Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for their proposals to protect miners’ “insurance and pensions.”

It’s odd that McGinty, a Philadelphia native, would seek to insert herself in the issues facing the western half of the state; unless, that is, she is thinking of another statewide run.

Jake Sternberger, campaign manager for former Democratic primary rival Joe Sestak, speculated as much:

The move would make sense given that McGinty served as Wolf’s chief of staff prior to her Senate run.

If she ran, McGinty should expect to take fire over her alleged use of the “revolving door” between government and business.

Militia Hill Ventures, a pharmaceutical investment and development firm, announced Tuesday that McGinty will be joining their organization as a partner.

McGinty drew scrutiny during the 2016 Senate run for her connections to pharmaceutical companies.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote last year that McGinty “was an adviser to Glaxo Wellcome, a pharmaceuticals company that was fighting chlorofluorocarbon rules [McGinty] herself had helped the Clinton administration write a few years earlier.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) alleged that official documents revealed that McGinty had inappropriately lobbied on behalf of Glaxo Wellcome on issues which she covered at the Pennsylvania DEP.

Her recent enterprise at Militia Hill will not quiet those concerns if she joins Wolf’s ticket in 2018.