The Fraternal Order of Police's Lodge 5 in Philadelphia endorsed former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy this morning for state Attorney General in the April 24 Democratic primary election in an event that made clear a nasty three-person* race is ahead for the next eight weeks. Union president John McNesby predicted a campaign season of innuendo and mud-slinging while taking a shot at Kathleen Kane of Clarks Summit, Murphy's primary rival.
"Pat's record of telling the truth is what we go by," McNesby said when asked about Kane's campaign bringing up today Murphy's past support in Congress for legislation opposed by gun-control groups. "Candidate Kane, she doesn't even know where Broad Street is in the city of Philadelphia."
District Attorney Seth Williams, who endorsed Murphy last June, dismissed as a "bullshit argument" Kane's recent focus on Murphy's lack of courtroom experience in Pennsylvania. The Associated Press last month reported that Murphy passed the bar exam in Minnesota rather than Pennsylvania but was later admitted in this state to practice law.
Kane, a former assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, has branded some of her campaign material with the slogan, "A prosecutor, not a politician."
"That's just stupid," Williams said, noting that the attorney general runs that office but doesn't spend time trying cases in court. "Pennsylvanians deserve better."
Murphy took his own shot at Kane for distributing information to reporters today about his support in Congress for legislation that lifted a ban on firearms in the District of Columbia.
"Either you believe in the Second Amendment or you don’t," Murphy said. "You can’t pick and choose what sections of the Constitution you believe in."
Kane's campaign spokesman, Frank Keel, was waiting outside the FOP lodge this morning to distribute a statement that made reference to Murphy's father being a former Philadelphia police officer. The statement said:
"I am fine with the head of FOP Lodge #5 looking after the son of a member. I have worked with police officers for most of my career and know that they are very loyal. Some of my best friends are officers and state troopers and became so on the job. They know I have been on the front line with them and always will be. Rank and file officers know what I am talking about."
* An earlier version of this post said the Democratic primary election was a two-person race. Former state Auditor General Don Bailey is also a candidate in the primary.