Kane wins attorney general race
HARRISBURG – A former prosecutor backed by Bill Clinton defeated her opponent in the Democratic nomination for state attorney general on Tuesday, based on preliminary results.
With 88 percent of precincts reporting, former Lackawanna Deputy District Attorney Kathleen Kane had 54 percent of the vote to former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy’s 46 percent. Kane said Murphy conceded the race in a telephone call late Tuesday. “We really worked for it and the people of Pennsylvania spoke,” Kane said. In a second statewide race, Rep. John Maher of Upper St. Clair defeated Frank Pinto, a former college professor and ex-Senate aide, of Dauphin County, for the GOP nomination for auditor general. Murphy, 38, of Bucks County and Kane, 45, campaigned aggressively for the office. Kane seized on Murphy’s admission that he never tried a case in a Pennsylvania courtroom. Murphy said he had legal experience including arguing before the top court of Iraq in Baghdad and teaching law at West Point. Kane was buoyed by former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement which she used in TV ads. Murphy criticized Kane for a $500 campaign donation to Gov. Tom Corbett when he was running as a Republican for attorney general in 2008. The attorney general’s contest “is the premier race on the Democratic side,” said Christopher Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown. Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed, 41, of Camp Hill, the Republican-endorsed candidate was unopposed. The Freed-Kane match up “creates an interesting prospect for the fall: prosecutor versus prosecutor,” said Anthony May, a former topaide to the late Democratic Gov. Robert Casey. Democrats too often over the years have not nominated a “tough on crime” prosecutor for the office Republicans have controlled since an elected statewide attorney general was established in 1981. “We’re looking forward to a spirited and tough campaign in the fall,’ Kane said. In the auditor general race, Maher, 53, stressed his experience as a certified public accountant. Pinto, 67, stressed his independence and varied background, which also included heading a banker’s association. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Maher led Pinto by 66 to 33 percent for the GOP nomination. Maher was the endorsed Republican Party candidate. “Pennsylvania deserves an auditor for auditor general,” Maher said. “The public is ready for public officials who know how to count. The voters…have confirmed that’s important.” On the Democratic side, Rep. Eugene DePasquale, 41, of York was unopposed in the primary. DePasquale went to Central Catholic and is the grandson of former Pittsburgh Council President “Jeep” DePasquale. Maher and DePasquale also won uncontested primaries for their legislative seats, which they would have to give up to take statewide office.