Joe Sestak

McGinty Asked Podesta: Should I Run for Senate?
Pennsylvania Democrat faces Republican Sen. Pat Toomey next month

Katie McGinty. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In July of last year, Katie McGinty had a decision to make: Should she run for Senate? 

So the Pennsylvania Democrat sought advice from a man who knows plenty about politics — the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 

Van Hollen, McGinty Win Democratic Senate Primaries
Indicted Rep. Chaka Fattah becomes first incumbent to lose in 2016 cycle

Rep. Chris Van Hollen celebrates after winning the Democratic Maryland Senate primary during a victory party at the Bethesda Marriott, April 26, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen on Tuesday won his contentious fight over Rep. Donna Edwards in Maryland’s Democratic Senate primary, all but guaranteeing that he will replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski next year.  

Katie McGinty won the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, besting former Rep. Joe Sestak in a race that saw her benefit from the enormous support of the party establishment — including crucial endorsement from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.  

Trump Sweeps Northeast Corridor Primaries, Clinton Wins 4
Both front-runners sound general election themes as they widen the gap

   

Republican Donald Trump scored an impressive five-state sweep on Tuesday in a set of presidential primaries along the Northeast corridor, while Democrat Hillary Clinton claimed all but one.  

Van Hollen, McGinty Surge Ahead
Party favorites lead in Maryland, Pennsylvania

The race between Maryland Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards for retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's seat got more contentious as election day neared. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic voters on Tuesday will decide the party’s nominees for Senate in Maryland and Pennsylvania, two races that have featured hard-fought battles between candidates split along establishment, gender and — at least in Maryland’s case — racial lines.  

In both contests, a late front-runner has emerged: The most recent polls show former Clinton administration official Katie McGinty and Rep. Chris Van Hollen with leads over their foremost opponents, onetime Rep. Joe Sestak and Rep. Donna Edwards, respectively. Both are backed by much of the Democratic Party establishment -- support that has given them a financial edge in the elections’ final weeks.  

Who Had the Best Fundraising Quarter?
Key Senate races show divide in funding

Portman has $13.5 million in cash on hand. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Senate primaries underway, many candidates are touting their fundraising prowess ahead of the general election to show they have the resources to win.  

Several Republicans who won their seats in the 2010 GOP wave now have to defend them in a presidential year, when Democrats tend to have higher turnout. Some of these candidates have posted strong numbers, but a couple of Democratic challengers also pulled in impressive hauls.  

Pennsylvania Democrats Want to Know: Why McGinty?
Heavy spending has some party operatives wondering if she's worth it

Candidate for U.S. Senate Katie McGinty, D-Pa., in west Philadelphia with other local Democrats. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA – West Philadelphia is not where Katie McGinty was born and raised. But the candidate carrying the hopes and dreams of Democratic leaders brought her campaign to this predominantly African-American community this week, picking a busy intersection on a sunny afternoon to shake hands and take pictures.  

“She’s the lady who’s never shady. First name Katie!” said Manwell “The Voice” Glenn, a local party operative who spoke rhymes into a bullhorn as he introduced McGinty to the men and women walking past. “McGinty is in the building, ladies and gentlemen!”  

'Voldemort' of Budgeting Vexes Democratic Candidates
Two Democrats are being dogged by their past support of Simpson-Bowles

Reps. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Donna Edwards, D-Md., Democratic candidates for Maryland Senate, are in a heated race where Social Security has become the focus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Chris Van Hollen is a career legislator running with the support of party leaders in Maryland. Joe Sestak is a onetime admiral in the U.S. Navy running an outsider’s campaign in Pennsylvania.  

But the two Democratic candidates for Senate share an important similarity: Both once praised the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan — and are now paying the price.  

Dem Political Committee to Spend $1.1 Million Boosting McGinty in Pa. Primary
The independent expenditure follows coordinated buy with the campaign

Katie McGinty is running for Senate in Pennsylvania. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign's independent expenditure arm will spend $1.1 million on TV ads in Pennsylvania to back Senate candidate Katie McGinty, according to a source tracking the buy.  

The ads will begin running statewide on Tuesday, April 12 and run through the end of the primary, on April 26, according to four sources with knowledge of the buy. The ads will run on broadcast and cable.  

DSCC Funding TV Ads to Help McGinty in Penn. Senate Primary
Some Democrats may rather see the funds spent in a general election

McGinty (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending $425,000 on TV ads to boost Pennsylvania Senate candidate Katie McGinty, according to an official with the committee. That's a decision that will aid the establishment-backed candidate ahead of her April 26 primary, but one that could draw criticism the party is siphoning valuable resources better used in a general election.  

The money will replace the McGinty campaign's own TV ad reservations statewide starting Tuesday, according to the DSCC official and two sources tracking the ad buy.  

Will Democrats' Aggressive Senate Primary Strategy Work?
Obama and Biden have made a pair of endorsements in key Senate primaries

Democrat Katie McGinty received Obama's endorsement in the Pennsylvania Senate primary on Wednesday. (Thos Robinson / Getty Images)

Democratic leaders have taken an unusually aggressive approach to the party’s Senate primaries this year, offering key endorsements in competitive races where, in some cases, voters are split. Amid an anti-establishment mood, their overt involvement carries risk — though the tactic has seemed effective, so far.  

The latest example came Wednesday in Pennsylvania, where President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. endorsed Katie McGinty in her bid for Senate, passing over her opponent, former Rep. Joe Sestak. Last week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced its formal support of McGinty, a former Al Gore adviser, who polls show trails Sestak but has earned the support of many Pennsylvania Democratic leaders, including Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey.