Kane wins Democratic nomination for Pa. AG

Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 25, 2012, 7:45am



HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Kathleen Kane has won the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania attorney general.

The former Lackawanna County prosecutor beat out her opponent, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, in Tuesday's state primary.

As of Wednesday morning, with 99.18 percent of districts reporting statewide, Kane had 371,862 votes, or 52.9 percent, compared to Murphy's 331,778, or 47.2 percent.

Kane, the first woman nominated to run for state attorney general, has the support of former President Bill Clinton.

Earlier this month, Clinton attended a "Get Out the Vote" rally for the former assistant district attorney.

Kane worked on now-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008. She eventually lost the Democratic nomination to now-President Barack Obama.

Kane also received the former president's endorsement.

"Kathleen Kane is the most experienced and qualified candidate to serve as Pennsylvania Attorney General," Clinton said in a statement earlier this month.

"I am confident that Kathleen will use the legal system to protect and advance the lives of all Pennsylvanians. She is smart, tough and experienced, and she will make a great attorney general."

Murphy, meanwhile, was backed by Obama's political strategist, David Axelrod.

Kane will now face Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed, who ran unopposed for the GOP nomination Tuesday, in November. Freed has been endorsed by Gov. Tom Corbett, a former attorney general himself, and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.

Also running to be the state's next top lawyer is Don Bailey, a former state auditor general and an independent.

All three are looking to replace current Attorney General Linda L. Kelly.

After Corbett was sworn in as governor in January 2011, William H. Ryan became the acting attorney general.

Soon after, Corbett nominated Kelly to replace him.

Kelly, 61, was a prosecutor for more than 30 years, serving as both an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County and senior litigation counsel as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

She is Pennsylvania's first female attorney general since the office became an elected position in 1980.

Since then, Republicans have held the office.

The state's general election is Nov. 6.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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