Who is Stacy Garrity, a Republican running for Pa. treasurer?

Incumbent Stacy Garrity is not facing an opponent for the Republican nomination in the upcoming Pennsylvania 2024 primary election.

Stacy Garrity speaking at a podium

Treasurer Stacy Garrity in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on July 20, 2023. (Commonwealth Media Services)

This story originally appeared on Spotlight PA.

Pennsylvania voters will elect a treasurer this November, but Democrats and Republicans first must pick their candidates this spring.

Incumbent Stacy Garrity is the only Republican running for her party’s nomination. She will appear on the April 23 primary ballot.

The state treasurer is one of three elected row officers in the commonwealth, and plays a crucial role in managing state dollars. They can serve a maximum of two four-year terms.

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Who is Stacy Garrity?


A native of Bradford County, Garrity graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

The retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel was once nicknamed “the Angel of the Desert” for her service at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq, according to a 2004 NPR story, which quoted a former detainee as saying that under Garrity’s oversight, “Nobody could feel it’s like a prison.”

A decorated soldier, Garrity was deployed three times, in Operation Desert Storm (1991), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003), and Operation Enduring Freedom (2008). She received two Bronze Stars and the Legion of Merit award.

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While in the Army Reserve, Garrity became one of the first female vice presidents at Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. The Pennsylvania-based company makes refractory powders, which are used in manufacturing electronics and tools.

She was elected treasurer in 2020, ousting Democrat Joe Torsella. In her bid for a second four-year term, she has focused on transparency, pledged to return unclaimed property and said she wants to reduce wasteful state spending.

Of her record on increasing transparency, Garrity says a key accomplishment was upgrading the Treasury’s transparency portal to enhance public access to state budget and spending information, adding calculated totals and providing more agency-level details.

She has also touted her strides in giving back unclaimed property. The Treasury facilitates the return of these financial assets (which were often abandoned as a result of relocation or oversight) through targeted outreach and a searchable online database through which Pennsylvanians can claim their lost property. Garrity has overseen a significant upgrade of the system for returning property, which began under Torsella.

Currently, the Pennsylvania Treasury holds $4.5 billion in unclaimed property. Garrity has said she has facilitated the return of $550 million during her four years in office, and in an email to Spotlight PA, her campaign quoted her as saying that under her leadership, Treasury has “set all-time records.”

Garrity and state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, one of her Democratic opponents, have tangled throughout the campaign, especially over unclaimed property. Bizzarro argues Garrity’s claims of breaking records are misleading because her calculations don’t include the new unclaimed property that Pennsylvania receives on an ongoing basis. He contends she oversells the scale of her accomplishment.

Calculated differently, he argues, Torsella’s numbers were better.

Garrity disagrees. “I’m much more interested in the number of claims being paid out and the amount of money being returned,” Garrity said. “People are still being hit hard by inflation, so I think we should focus on the impact we’re having on families across the state, not some abstract percentage calculation.”

The Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization recently reviewed all 50 states’ records on returning property and sorted states into four tiers. Pennsylvania, Garrity said, is in the top tier.

“So no matter what method you use to judge it, here’s the bottom line: Under my watch, Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property returns are better than ever,” she said.

Erin McClelland, Garrity’s other Democratic opponent, has largely stayed out of the unclaimed property spat, calling the issue an “easy sell [that] doesn’t take a lot of thought or really aggressive analysis on a complex system,” in a conversation with Spotlight PA.

Garrity has been criticized for her connections with former President Donald Trump, particularly for speaking at a rally that sought to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 election, a day before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S Capitol.

“The election from this November is tarnished forever,” Garrity, who was then treasurer-elect, said at the rally.

Most of the criticism has come from Bizzarro, who at a recent news conference said, “Stacy Garrity implored people to question the integrity of our election. … She used her platform to promote and spread lies that instigated the Jan. 6 attack on our democracy.”

“Despite Ryan’s misleading claims about my involvement in January 6, I was nowhere near Washington at the time. In fact, I issued a statement denouncing the attacks on the Capitol as they were ongoing,” said Garrity in an email from a campaign official. “My appearance at a January 5th rally in Harrisburg was to state that the election process had been tarnished by unelected bureaucrats who ignored the election law as written.”

Garrity has also weighed in on abortion (she supported the overturn of Roe v. Wade) and increased investments in Israel after October’s Hamas attacks.

EndorsementsPennsylvania Republican Party.

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