For Attorney General-Republican Freed Brings More Experience To Bear

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In her campaign for the Democratic nomination as state attorney general, Kathleen Kane sold herself as the candidate who was a prosecutor, not a politician. The trouble for her in the general election is that her pitch is the same, but her opponent is different.

Republican David Freed, unlike Ms. Kane’s primary opponent, also is a prosecutor, and he has more relevant experience than she does. Also on the ballot is Libertarian Marakay Rogers, 50, of York, an attorney who wants to decriminalize marijuana and abolish the state’s death penalty.

Ms. Kane, 46, of Scranton began her legal career in civil litigation with a Philadelphia firm. Next she spent 12 years as an assistant district attorney in the Lackawanna County prosecutor’s office, where she worked on child abuse, sexual assaults, elder abuse and white-collar crime.

Ms. Kane left the office in 2007 to raise her children, and since then she said she has done pro-bono work and been active with nonprofit organizations. Her background is insufficient to move all the way up to the highest law enforcement office in the state.

By contrast, Mr. Freed, 42, of Camp Hill, who joined the Cumberland County district attorney’s office in 1998, advanced from assistant to become DA in 2006, winning elections in 2007 and in 2011. Although his 50-member staff is significantly smaller than that of the attorney general’s, he brings managerial experience that the Democrat lacks.

A negative television ad erroneously tied Ms. Kane to “a weak plea deal” in a rape case. After she complained, the Republican State Leadership Committee, the Washington, D.C., group that produced it, replaced it with one that portrays her as soft on crime. While these ads did not come from Mr. Freed’s campaign, he should have done more to disavow them.

Despite that nasty turn, he has a proactive plan for the attorney general’s office, focusing on abuse of children and the elderly, aggressively pursuing cyber crimes and going after distributors as well as street-level sales of dangerous synthetic drugs.

The Post-Gazette endorses David Freed because he has a comprehensive plan and the best experience to be Pennsylvania’s next attorney general.

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