GOP Attorney General Candidate: I’m More Qualified

Eric Smith
The Daily Local

The Republican candidate for state attorney general said the focus of his campaign is all about experience.

David Freed, who was born in Chester County, has spent the last seven years as the district attorney of Cumberland County and said experience makes him the best choice in November.

“My pitch is that I am the more qualified candidate, and that is not a Democrat or Republican issue,” Freed said during a recent visit to the Daily Local News.

Freed said that while his opponent, Democrat Kathleen Kane, also has experience as a prosecutor, he is the only one in the race who has been an elected official and in charge of an office where he had to manage prosecutions and finances. Kane was an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County.

Freed said the state needs an attorney general who knows how to manage financial resources and set priorities.

“In 2012, in any governmental entity, we have to learn how to do more with less,” Freed said. “Resources are not necessarily growing in any level of government. You have to set priorities, make tough decisions and learn to adapt.”

Freed said that while he would provide input on any criminal legislation in the state if elected, he would not want to be the chief legislator of Pennsylvania.

Freed said his focus would be on protecting children and the elderly, disrupting the drug business, protecting states’ rights and keeping costs low for the taxpayer.

Freed said the attorney general has a very limited jurisdiction so he would focus on protecting children by fighting illegal contact with minors. That crime is typically committed through technology. He also said he wants to help educate children and their parents on the dangers of technology so these crimes can be prevented.

As for the elderly, Freed said an elderly abuse unit exists on paper in the attorney general’s office, but he would make it a priority and put resources into it. He said prosecuting physical abuse and financial fraud of the elderly can often be difficult cases, especially with limited resources in the district attorney’s offices in some counties. He said the state office could provide resources and expertise to the local offices to stop elderly abuse and financial fraud.

“I see protecting the elderly as a priority for the office, especially given the aging citizens of Pennsylvania,” Freed said.

Freed said that while locking up known drug dealers is important, seizing their property and assets can disrupt the business to the point where they can no longer deal. He said forfeiture and seizure of property cases are civil matters that require less of a legal burden, therefore making them a smarter way to spend limited resources. He said the criminal and civil cases must be treated separately and simultaneously.

On protecting a state’s rights, Freed said his office will ensure the federal government does not pass any law and pass along mandates that limit a state’s right to govern itself.

Freed had no primary opponent, while Kane fought a long and expensive battle. Freed said he benefits from being able to raise funds though he may be lagging in name recognition because of an uncontested primary.

Republicans have won every attorney general election in the state since the position became an elected post.

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