HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Third-term Pennsylvania Sen. John Rafferty Jr. said last week that he will run for attorney general in 2012.

The state senator, who served as deputy attorney general from 1988-1991, told PoliticsPA that he is "most definitely" running.

Rafferty, a Republican, has been a member of the state Senate since 2003. He represents parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties.

Rafferty also currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and is a member of Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and Judiciary committees.

Prior to running for the Senate, he served as an attorney in private practice, focusing on education, real estate, zoning and business and estates law. As deputy attorney general, he was responsible for the Criminal Law Division and Grand Jury Investigations.

His top legislative priorities have included reducing the property tax burden, protecting the environment, reducing health care costs, providing quality care for senior citizens, fighting prescription drug abuse and securing resources for police and firefighters, according to his Senate website.

Rafferty earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, his master's from Beaver College and his law degree from Temple University.

PoliticsPA also reported that Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed, a Republican, is considering a run for the post.

So far, former U.S. Congressman and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy, Dan McCaffery, a candidate for Philadelphia District Attorney in 2009, and Kathleen Granahan Kane, a career prosecutor from Scranton, are seeking the Democratic nomination.

After former Attorney General Tom Corbett was sworn in as governor in January, William H. Ryan Jr. became the acting attorney general.

In February, Corbett nominated Linda L. Kelly to replace him.

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

She was confirmed by a unanimous vote in May.

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

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