Our colleague Tom Barnes has this update on the latest tumult from the state attorney general's race, which on the GOP side, appears to be over before it ever really began:
Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed's odds of becoming the next state attorney general have improved dramatically now that his only Republican challenger has suspended his campaign.
State Sen. John Rafferty of Montgomery County announced he's ending his race in the GOP primary in April, saying Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican from Shaler, is ready to endorse Mr. Freed.
Mr. Freed is the son-in-law of former state Attorney General Leroy Zimmerman, a political ally of Mr. Corbett. The governor met with both candidates recently and hasn't officially made an endorsement. But Mr. Rafferty said Mr. Corbett "has communicated to me" that he will back Mr. Freed, 41.
Since the attorney general became an elected office in 1980, no Democrat has won, so if Mr. Freed remains the only GOP candidate, his chances of winning are substantial.
He also notes that three Democrats are seeking their party's nomination in the April primary: U.S. Rep.Patrick Murphy of Bucks County; Philadelphia lawyer and former prosecutor Dan McCaffery; and Kathleen Kane, a former prosecutor in Lackawanna County. He continues:
Mr. Murphy's campaign got a jolt Wednesday when the Associated Press disclosed he never took the bar exam in Pennsylvania and has never tried a case in this state. He did pass the bar exam in Minnesota after completing law school in Harrisburg in 1999.
That revelation comes as state Democrats are set to meet in State College this weekend to consider whether to endorse a candidate in the race.
Perhaps to redirect those headlines, Team Murphy issued a news release this afternoon announcing a poll they commissioned that shows Murphy leading his competitors by double digits:
"Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy holds a commanding lead over his two Democratic primary opponents. In a poll conducted this week byGlobal Strategy Group, Murphy leads his closest challenger Kathleen Kane, 36% to 15%. Dan McCaffery finishes a distant third with 8%," according to the Murphy release.