This year’s Pennsylvania Senate race is one of the most competitive in the country; it is vital in determining which party controls the U.S. Senate. The ongoing effort by President Obama to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated in the wake of Justice Scalia’s death has further highlighted the importance and consequence of this year’s Senate elections. Who we elect in November could determine the future balance of the Supreme Court.

It is in this spirit that Penn Democrats is proud to endorse Katie McGinty in the Democratic Primary for United States Senate. Recognizing that we are fortunate to have a diverse and accomplished field of candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, we believe that McGinty’s experience, passion, and history of trailblazing make her the best candidate for the job. Crucially, she is also best equipped to take on Senator Toomey in the general election this fall.

Pennsylvania needs a senator with both a real understanding of the challenges facing our country today and a bold vision of progress and change for the future. McGinty has been at the forefront of progressive change for her entire career—from working with Senator Al Gore in the 1980s and crafting early strategies to combat climate change, to being the first woman to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality, to increasing health coverage and aid to public education as chief of staff in Governor Wolf’s administration.

Today, the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works is chaired by a man who threw a snowball on the Senate floor to “disprove” climate change. There is no doubt that the people of Pennsylvania and the United States need a proven champion of environmental issues in the Senate–we need someone defending our planet and our future. McGinty has proven throughout her career that she is that woman. She knows that we can protect our environment and create well-paying jobs at the same time. In Congress, she will fight to ensure that Pennsylvanians have clean air and water while also receiving the support they need to build and grow innovative companies that promote alternative clean energy.

If elected, McGinty would be the first female senator to represent Pennsylvania in Washington. As a working mother of three daughters, she herself has lived the difficult balance between raising a family and building a career. This life experience gives her the unparalleled drive to fight for paid family leave, for equal pay for equal work, and for increased access to health services — eliminating the obstacles that working families face to achieve the American Dream.

McGinty has the endorsements of Democrats across both the state and the country. Labor unions, environmental organizations, women’s groups and political figures—including Governors Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell and current Senator Bob Casey—have lined up to support her campaign. We need a candidate with this breadth of support to take on an incumbent Republican senator in November. More importantly, we need McGinty’s progressive leadership and can-do spirit in Congress.

Penn Democrats urges voters to support Katie McGinty for Senate in the Democratic primary on April 26.

—Penn Dems Executive Board

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