[Updated] Exclusive: Patrick Murphy to Announce for Attorney General
By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
Former Congressman Pat Murphy will announce today that he is running for Attorney General in 2012.
12:15pm Update: Read Murphy’s full list of endorsements below.
According to high-level Democratic sources, including several close to the campaign, Murphy will make his bid official later today. He has reportedly lined up significant support among elected officials, labor groups, and Democratic party leaders.
Allegheny County Executive and former gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato reportedly will endorse Murphy. So too will several of Murphy’s former colleagues in the Congressional delegation, including Reps. Chaka Fattah and Tim Holden.
Wendell Young IV, president of the politically active UFCW 1776, confirmed that his union was endorsing Murphy.
The full list of known endorsements is below.
The decision comes after several months of speculation about Murphy’s next move, during which the Congressman has remained politically active throughout the state. Rumors began almost immediately after his 2010 loss to Mike Fitzpatrick that Murphy was looking at a run for AG.
Two other Democrats have so far announced for AG: Dan McCaffery, who finished second to Seth Williams in Philadelphia’s 2009 District Attorney race; and Kathleen Granahan Kane, a northeast PA prosecutor. Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham has also said she is considering a run.
Several Democratic operatives laid out the strong case for Murphy in a primary; three factors that they think will ultimately leave him a clear path to the nomination.
They say he will present a strong show of support during his announcement. He’s shown that he’s a talented fundraiser (over $11 million during his three congressional campaigns), and an early look at his endorsers suggests he will have the backing of former Governor Ed Rendell’s money machine. Finally, his high-profile sponsorship of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell won him a strong following among progressive Democrats.
Democrats will certainly need a tough candidate if they’re to have a shot next year. Since it became an elected position in 1980, no Dem has ever served as Attorney General. Even in 2008 when Obama won Pennsylvania by over ten points, Tom Corbett was re-elected by a near seven point margin.
As far as legal bona fides, Murphy taught law at West Point, served as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and prosecuted accused terrorists while serving in Iraq. He was elected to Congress in 2006, defeating Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick.
In January, after losing to Fitzpatrick by seven points, Murphy joined Philly-area law firm Fox-Rothschild. He also teaches at Widener Law.
Endorsements for Murphy for Attorney General, from the campaign.
Chaka Fattah, U.S. Rep.
Tim Holden, U.S. Rep.
Jason Altmire, U.S. Rep.
Ron Klink, Former U.S. Rep.
Kathy Dahlkemper, Former U.S. Rep.
Dan Onorato, Allegheny County Executive
Daylin Leach, State Senator
Chelsa Wagner, State Rep.
Dan Frankel, State Rep.
Tony Payton, State Rep.
Josh Shapiro, State Rep.
John Galloway, State Rep.
Mike Carroll, State. Rep.
Tina Davis, State Rep.
Steve Santarsiero, State Rep.
Tom Leighton, Wilkes-Barre Mayor
Brad Koplinski, Harrisburg City Council
J. Richard Gray, Lancaster Mayor
Mark McCracken, Clearfield County Commissioner
Connie Kough Pittenger, Huntingdon County Commissioner
Rick Vilello, Mayor of Lock Haven
Democratic Party Leaders:
TJ Rooney, Former Chair, PA Dems
John Cordisco, Chair, Bucks County
Marcel Groen, Chair, Montgomery County
Greg Stewart, Chair, Centre County
Chris Tarsa, Chair, Lebanon County
Susan Hartman, Chair, Huntingdon County
Roger Lund, Chair, Adams County and State Committee South Central Caucus Chair
Frank Rosenhoover, Chair, Blair County
Greg Specht, Acting Chair, Juniata County
Bob Kefauver, Chair, York County
Don Hilliard, Chair, Jefferson County
Rick Thomas, Chair, Union County
Jessie Bloom, Chair, Lycoming County
Larry Kriess, Chair, Butler County
Rick Daugherty, Chair, Lehigh County
Sally Lyall, Chair, Lancaster County
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776
PA Conference of Teamsters
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
Sprinkler Fitters Local 692
Plumbers Union Local 690
Ironworkers Local 401
Boilermakers Local 13
Boilermakers Local 19
American Postal Workers Union Local 7048
Communications Workers of American Local 13000
Steamfitters’ Local Union 420