State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Shapiro, Rafferty win party nods for attorney general

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 27, 2016 12:53 AM
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Rafferty in 2015, announcing his bid for attorney general. Shapiro greets supporters after winning the Democratic nomination for attorney general. Photos by Mary Wilson/WITF.


Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican John Rafferty will face one another in the November election for Pennsylvania attorney general, having won their respective primaries on Tuesday.

In a relatively sleepy contest, Montgomery County state Senator Rafferty shrugged off Joe Peters, the former Scranton cop and prosecutor.

Rafferty told supporters in Audubon, that he's looking forward to November, and hopes to restore morale in the Office of Attorney General.

"There will be no political spotlights, no personal vendettas," said Rafferty, alluding to the troubled tenure of indicted Attorney General Kathleen Kane. "It'll be the right decisions for the right reasons, to make sure that you the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania know that I serve you."

The Democratic nomination for attorney general was fiercely contested, with the candidates raising $5 million at last count. Shapiro, a Montgomery County chairman commissioner, bested two longtime district attorneys - Allegheny County's Steve Zappala and Northampton County's John Morganelli. They were outraised and out-endorsed by Shapiro, who boasted backing from President Obama and Gov. Tom Wolf, and had media maven Saul Shorr running his ad campaign.

At his election night party in King of Prussia, Shapiro reprised his campaign -trail message of expanding the role of the Office of Attorney General, and he urged Pennsylvania Democratic voters to unite behind him.

"Steve and John ran a good race and there were many people who supported them," said Shapiro. "I invite you to join us now. I invite Republicans and independents to come together behind our vision of what this office can do. Behind a stronger, more compassionate, more ethical, and honorable justice system."

The winner of the general election will succeed Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who is awaiting her criminal trial on perjury and conspiracy charges and is not running for a second term.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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