Kathleen Kane’s term as Pennsylvania attorney general started in hope, turned into a fiasco, ended with a perjury conviction and led to jail time. The office, staffed by dedicated professionals, deserves a leader who can restore its integrity. Pennsylvania needs a drama-free attorney general who will protect citizens and vigorously enforce the laws of the commonwealth. This year, Pennsylvania voters are lucky to have two serious and well-qualified candidates for the position, Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican John Rafferty Jr. While either would serve the state well, we believe that Mr. Rafferty is the better choice for attorney general in 2016.
A longtime state senator from Montgomery County who worked in the attorney general’s office in the late 1980s, Mr. Rafferty brings a pragmatic sense to the job. He bills himself as the “go-to guy” for law enforcement in the Legislature. He also points to a record of bipartisan cooperation, from the Act 89 transportation bill that he spearheaded as chair of the Transportation Committee to child protection laws to the Brad Fox Law, which gets tough on straw purchasers of firearms. In life experience, he highlights his time running a business (a small golf course before he entered Temple Law School), managing a floor at Macy’s and practicing law. All that work and life experience, he says, will culminate in the attorney general’s office: At 63, he seeks no higher seat, beyond running for a second term should he win the position this year.
But in the present climate — after a criminally wasteful effort by Kane, the first Democrat to serve as attorney general since it became an elected position in 1980 — we see the value in turning over the office to a more traditional Republican who will regard it as the pinnacle of his career. Mr. Rafferty has a proven track record in working with law enforcement and district attorneys across the state and across the aisle, as well as the temperament and inclination to focus on the meat and potatoes of the job. We endorse John Rafferty Jr. for attorney general of Pennsylvania.
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