Despite lagging poll numbers, Katie McGinty says don’t count her out of Pa. gov’s race

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    Katie McGinty is one of four Democratic candidates looking to run against Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett.  (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    Katie McGinty is one of four Democratic candidates looking to run against Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    McGinty, who served as deputy assistant to President Clinton, went on to chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In 2003, she was tapped by then Gov. Ed Rendell to head the DEP. WHYY’s senior reporter Dave Davies spoke with McGinty about her run for governor.

    We’re less than two weeks out from a four-way showdown in the Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial primary.

    Tom Corbett will take on the winner of the race, which includes U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord, businessman Tom Wolf, and former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty. 

    McGinty, who served as deputy assistant to President Clinton, went on to chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  In 2003, she was tapped by then Gov. Ed Rendell to head the DEP.  WHYY’s senior reporter Dave Davies spoke with McGinty about her run for governor.

    “Having run a business, I know that the leadership experience you gain in that capacity doesn’t translate exactly to leadership in government,” said McGinty.  “Why?  When you are the boss of a business, all of your employees, one, report to you and their paycheck depends on you. 

    “Very different intersection when you’re intersecting with 253 separately elected legislators, none of whom report to you and — at least some of whom feel that their paycheck depends on opposing you.”

    Questioned about a campaign contribution from someone associated with a coal company whose permit approval McGinty allegedly rushed through as DEP secretary, McGinty denied the allegation.

    “I set the highest standards,” she said.  “But when you set those standards, you need to get about enforcing them and making them real, and that means you get about telling someone who has a permit application, ‘You either met those permit requirements or you didn’t,’ and then move on to getting the job and the work of the people done.”

    As for trailing the other Democrats in polls, McGinty said there’s still time to turn it around.  “I think most Pennsylvanians are just now, understandably, turning their attention to this race,” she said.  “I feel people responding very positively with a lot of energy, and I know they’re going to show up for me on May 20.”

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