HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) Kathleen Kane on Tuesday spearheaded a Democratic sweep of Pennsylvania three statewide "row offices," becoming the first Democrat and the first woman to be elected as state attorney general and snapping a chain of GOP succession that had gone unbroken since the post became an elective office in 1980.
"I'm thrilled," Kane said in a telephone interview Tuesday night after defeating Republican candidate David Freed, the Cumberland County district attorney, with 56 percent of the vote in returns from 96 percent of the state' precincts. "I felt the momentum everywhere I went. I'm humbled by the fact it's such a large margin."
Pennsylvania also elected Eugene DePasquale, a state representative from York County, as auditor general and awarded state Treasurer Rob McCord a second four-year term.
Kane vowed during her campaign that she would launch an investigation into why it took the attorney general's office nearly three years to bring criminal charges against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse abusing 10 boys over 15 years. He was sentenced in October to at least 30 years in prison.
Such a probe is bound to put the state's new chief legal officer on a collision course with GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, who was attorney general when the Sandusky probe was launched and who has defended its pace as unvoidable.
Kane, who was elected in her first campaign for public office, said Tuesday night that she would keep that promise, "amongst other things."
"There's a lot of work to do," such as appointing a transition team in preparation for taking over the office in January, she said.
Kane, 46, spent more than 12 years as a Lackawanna County assistant district attorney and proved to be a scrappy campaigner in her first bid for elective office.
Freed stressed his 15 years of prosecutorial experience, including seven years of management experience in his present job as Cumberland County's elected district attorney.
Freed won 41 percent of the vote and Libertarian Party candidate Marakay Rogers claimed 2 percent.