Rafferty to run for Attorney General


State Sen. John Rafferty (R-44)

State Sen. John Rafferty (R-44) — who represents parts of Chester County — announced Wednesday he would run for state Attorney General in 2016. The post is currently held by Kathleen Kane, a Democrat.

Rafferty made his announcement in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania State Troopers Headquarters in part to highlight a number of high-profile endorsements he received on the kickoff of his campaign. Concurrent with Rafferty’s announcement of his bid, the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association (PSTA), Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association (PPFA) announced they would endorse Rafferty’s campaign for Attorney General.

“I have three priorities: keeping Pennsylvanians safe, protecting their tax dollars and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves,” Rafferty said in his announcement speech. “My education and experience makes me uniquely qualified to lead the Attorney General’s office and accomplish the important work to keep Pennsylvania families safe.”

Along with law enforcement endorsements, Rafferty also notched a key political backer: state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. Scarnati and Republican National Committeeman Bob Asher — a Republican power player from Delaware County — are serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Rafferty for AG Campaign.

Scarnati was strong in his support for his state Senate colleague:

“Senator John Rafferty is a dedicated public servant and will make an outstanding Attorney General.” Scarnati said. “I am proud to endorse his candidacy for Attorney General.”

Rafferty’s endorsements from the law enforcement community were equally strong.

“Senator Rafferty has been a tireless advocate for the law enforcement community and his top priority is fighting to keep Pennsylvanians safe,” Pennsylvania State Troopers Association President Joe Kovel said. “The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association is proud to stand with Senator Rafferty’s campaign for Attorney General.”

“Senator Rafferty has repeatedly endorsed and supported legislation that enables people to enjoy a safe and prosperous environment and help law enforcement to accomplish its mission more safely,” Fraternal Order of Police President Les Neri said.

Rafferty is likely to face a complicated race in 2016 — with at least one more Republican, widely thought to be State Rep. Todd Stephens. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, the embattled Kane — if she decides to seek reelection — is likely to have a primary fight of her own, with party insiders pointing to Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro as a likely candidate.

Rafferty represents the state’s 44th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties. He was re-elected for a fourth term in the Senate in November of 2014. Prior to that, he served as a Pennsylvania State Deputy Attorney General.

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