Bob Casey Endorses Katie McGinty in Senate Primary

Katie McGinty is clearly the establishment's choice to take on incumbent Pat Toomey this fall.

Bob Casey (left), Katie McGinty

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey has endorsed Katie McGinty in the primary for the state’s other U.S. Senate seat.

“McGinty will fight tirelessly for Pennsylvania families,” Casey told the Associated Press, “and I’m proud to endorse her.”

Casey, the son of Pennsylvania’s governor from 1987 to 1995, has been a senator since 2006. He is pretty popular: He knocked Rick Santorum out of office with 59 percent of the vote that year, and won re-election with 54 percent of the vote in 2014.

Casey’s endorsement cements McGinty as the establishment candidate this year. She has a long list of establishment backers, including former Philly mayor and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Gov. Tom Wolf. McGinty ran against Wolf in the gubernatorial primary two years ago and was later his chief-of-staff.

Additionally, McGinty’s nabbed endorsements from state and Philly building trades, AFSCME, SEIU, the state education association and others.

“I’ve never seen that lineup against one candidate in a primary not based on issue positions,” David Landau, chairman of the Delaware County Democratic Party, told the Associated Press last month. “I’ve certainly never seen anything like this based on personality and not issues.”

McGinty’s chief rival for the nomination is former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who lost a 51-49 election to Sen. Pat Toomey six years ago. Sestak ran against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter that year, defeating him in the primary with 54 percent of the vote. Clearly, the Democratic establishment is attempting to make sure he doesn’t win the primary again.

Sestak told the AP the Casey endorsement “completes an all-inclusive rejection by Washington D.C.’s and Pennsylvania Democratic politicians of what I believe in and stand for.”

Also running in the race: Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, who I profiled late last year, and Joseph Vodvarka, a non-politician with wide-ranging views, including repealing Obamacare, building a fence along the Mexican border and making English the national language.

Harper Polling, a conservative pollster, showed the Democratic Senate hopefuls gaining ground on Toomey in a survey released last week. Liberal pollster Public Policy Polling found that Toomey’s rejection of any Obama Supreme Court nominee has hurt him in the state.

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