This past Friday, I attended a rally for Katie McGinty, democratic candidate for a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. I'll admit that I'm not very familiar with Pennsylvania's political situation, after just moving here from across the country to attend college. I actually attended the event to see Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and one of my long-time idols, speak, but ended up learning about the true importance of McGinty's candidacy.
Katie McGinty is running against Republican incumbent Patrick or Pat Toomey, who has routinely opposed climate change legislation, supported deregulating the financial sector, opposed allowing the refinancing of student debt, opposed background checks on gun control, fought against LGBT+ rights including marriage equality, and supported imprisoning doctors who perform legal abortions. Toomey has also refused to denounce current Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump despite his endless trend of perpetuating hatred, a point well emphasized by Elizabeth Warren during her speech.
McGinty, on the other hand, is nearly the opposite of Toomey. She served as environmental advisor to both President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton, and is far from a climate change denier, as both McGinty and Warren made incredibly clear during the rally. Unlike Toomey, she vehemently supports gun control, marriage equality, and is pro-choice. Although McGinty does have somewhat of a controversial political record due to past actions, she still holds significant qualifications, especially over Toomey.
Still though, none of these things make McGinty's campaign particularly remarkable or historic. This election year is already historic, with Hillary Clinton being the first woman to be nominated for President by a major political party. Katie McGinty has the same chance to make political history. No woman has ever represented the state of Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate. McGinty has a legitimate shot at making history, as polls show her leading against Toomey by a narrow margin.
Both the drastically differing political views of the two candidates and McGinty's chance at smashing yet another glass ceiling make this Senate race one of the most notable yet. These are also major reasons why every Pennsylvanian citizen should be registering and voting this election season.