There was plenty of news last week in the race for state attorney general, with Republicans settling on a candidate and Democrats deciding to allow three candidates to battle it out in the April 24 primary.
After Gov. Tom Corbett indicated that he favored Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed, Montgomery County state Sen. John Rafferty dropped out of the GOP race.
Rafferty had the support of GOP powerhouse Bob Asher, party leaders in Philadelphia and the suburbs and many of his fellow state senators, but is leaving the race because of his respect for Corbett as the titular head of the party.
“I have gotten to know Dave Freed on the campaign trail. He is someone I like and one who has compiled a strong record as district attorney,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Democratic State Committee met Saturday in State College, and no candidate obtained the required two-thirds votes of members to earn an endorsement.
The candidates are former prosecutors Dan McCaffery of Philadelphia and Kathleen Kane of Lackawanna County and former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.
It was revealed last week that Murphy has never taken the state bar examination and never tried a case in a Pennsylvania court.
Murphy was admitted to the state bar in 2004 based on his passing the Minnesota bar exam and five years as a U.S. Army lawyer. He graduated from Widener University Law School in 1999, then took the Minnesota bar exam because he was told that he’d get the results in time for him to enter the Army Judge Advocate General Corps.
The Murphy campaign released a poll showing him with 36 percent of the vote, followed by Kane with 15 percent and McCaffery with 8 percent. The results are from an automated telephone poll conducted on Jan. 10-11 of 1,001 randomly selected Democratic primary voters.
Murphy has the support of former Gov. Ed Rendell; U.S. Reps. Chaka Fattah and Allyson Schwartz; City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez; Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams; state Reps. Larry Curry, Dwight Evans, Mike McGeehan and Tony Payton; former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford; and Sprinkler Fitters Local 692, Plumbers Union Local 690 and Ironworkers Local 401.
At the party meeting, Democrats endorsed U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Treasurer Rob McCord, along with York County state Rep. Eugene DePasquale, who is running for auditor general.
Republicans have a crowded field for Senate.
The GOP is expected to back Allegheny County state Rep. John Maher for auditor general. Democratic incumbent Jack Wagner is prohibited from seeking a third term.
Center City Realtor John Featherman, who lost last year’s Republican mayoral primary to Karen Brown by 64 votes, will run this year in the 1st Congressional District.
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-1st dist.) faces a primary challenge from former Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore.
The district includes Delaware County and South Philadelphia, along with Wissinoming, Tacony, Holmesburg, East Torresdale, West Mayfair, Castor Gardens and Frankford.
Freshman state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.) will seek a second two-year term.
In 2010, Boyle defeated longtime Republican Rep. John Perzel, who was facing corruption charges. Perzel has since pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.
Boyle, who serves on the Urban Affairs, Finance and Health committees, has several priorities.
“Locally, there are not enough high-performing schools for our children, especially in light of recent Catholic school closings. I will also keep up the fight against the proposed methadone clinic for Frankford Avenue. In Harrisburg, I will continue to campaign for the passage of my legislation that imposes more stringent reporting requirements on witnesses of sexual abuse, which I introduced in response to the events related to the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky case,” he said.
Republicans have not settled on an opponent for Boyle, whose district was made more Democratic in redistricting.
State Rep. Larry Curry (D-154th dist.) announced last week that he would retire at the end of his term.
Curry’s district includes one division in Burholme. The new district includes three divisions in Lawndale.
Elected in 1992, Curry is the minority-party chairman of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee.
A lifelong Jenkintown resident, he formerly served as a borough councilman and Montgomery County commissioner.
Curry, 75, has endorsed retired high school social studies teacher Steve McCarter.
Jeff Harbison also plans to seek the Democratic nomination. He’s founder and CEO of a software company, a member of the Springfield Board of Commissioners, treasurer of U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s political action committee and president of the Wyndmoor Civic Association. ••EndFragment