Senate balks at Wolf’s choice for Pa. treasurer

     GOP leaders in Pennsylvania's Senate are rankled that they were not consulted before Gov. Tom Wolf nominated a Montgomery County man as the state's treasurer. (Kevin McCorry/WHYY)

    GOP leaders in Pennsylvania's Senate are rankled that they were not consulted before Gov. Tom Wolf nominated a Montgomery County man as the state's treasurer. (Kevin McCorry/WHYY)

    GOP leaders in Pennsylvania’s Senate aren’t in Gov. Tom Wolf’s inner circle – and they aren’t happy about it.

    The Senate’s top Republican said Wednesday the governor should have consulted his caucus before nominating a state treasurer.

    “Who wants to be nominated by the governor that’s going to go to the Senate and be voted down because the governor refuses to have a conversation with the Senate?” said Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson. “That’s a ridiculous position to take to try to recruit, nominate and confirm qualified people for these positions.”

    Earlier this month, Wolf picked Tim Reese, a venture capitalist from Montgomery County, to take the role, filling a seat vacated by Rob McCord when he resigned to plead guilty to federal extortion charges.

    Senate Democratic leaders said they were included in the process, but Scarnati said Republicans who control the chamber were kept out of the loop.

    “The process is supposed to work like this: I make the nomination, they confirm,” said Wolf. “So I’m not sure what the problem is … the Constitution actually gives you the power to reject this nomination.”

    Reese will need a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate to be confirmed. Until then, the state’s finances are being run by Treasury’s top lawyer, Christopher Craig.

    Scarnati said he can see himself supporting that status quo.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.