Report: Katie McGinty Close to Deciding on Senate Challenge to Pat Toomey

She's been wooed by party leaders eager to avoid another Joe Sestak campaign.

The wooing of Katie McGinty has apparently become quite serious.

When last we checked in, McGinty — Gov. Tom Wolf‘s chief of staff — had been approached about running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Pat Toomey by Democratic leaders desperate not to have Joe Sestak represent the party on the ballot next fall. But Ed Rendell pooh-poohed the whole thing and that, we figured, was probably that.

Think again.

“This weekend the DSCC held a retreat at Martha’s Vineyard. Dozens of Senators and Senate candidates were there. So was Katie McGinty,” PoliticsPA reports. “PoliticsPA has learned she flew to the event on a chartered flight with over fifteen Senators. We were also able to confirm with McGinty’s top political strategist Mike Mikus that she left on Friday night and returned Sunday.”

She’s apparently generating enthusiasm that Sestak, who lost to Toomey in 2010, hasn’t been able to muster. 

“GOP incumbent Pat Toomey, despite his conservative leanings and the registration edge against him,will be very hard to beat in 2016,” write political analysts Terry Madonna and Michael Young. “Katie McGinty might do it — and at this point, she could be the only one who can.”

One obstacle? It might be unseemly for her to desert Wolf while he’s locked in an extra-innings struggle over the state budget with Pennsylvania Republicans.

‘‘We’ve both agreed that we can’t let this be a distraction,’’ Wolf said during a Monday appearance, according to the Post-Gazette.

McGinty’s camp says her decision can be expected soon.

Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.