HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - A Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general has admitted to never taking the state's bar exam.

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy told The Associated Press this week that he only took Minnesota's bar exam after graduating from Widener University Law School in 1999.

According to the AP, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 2004 based on his Minnesota exam scores and his years as a lawyer in the U.S. Army.

In terms of professional qualifications, the Pennsylvania Cconstitution only requires the attorney general be a member of the state bar.

Murphy, who announced his run for the Attorney General's Office last April, also told the AP he has not tried a case in the state's courts.

Most of his cases have been for the Army in federal, military and foreign courts, he said.

Murphy was elected to Congress in 2007. He was the first veteran of the Iraq War to serve.

He was re-elected to a second term in 2008, but lost his 8th District seat to Republican Mike Fitzpatrick -- his opponent in the 2006 race -- in 2010.

Murphy will face former Philadelphia prosecutor Dan McCaffery and former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane in the April primary.

Whoever wins will most likely face Republican state Sen. John Rafferty, whom Gov. Tom Corbett is backing for the job.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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