2012 PA Attorney General race, a toss up?

Could a Democrat win the race for Attorney General in Pennsylvania?

Republicans have had a lock on the chief law enforcement post here for 30 years - most recently held by Tom Corbett who vacates the office to take over as governor on Jan. 18.

Now a top D.C.  political prognosticator says the Democrats' time may be near. Louis Jacobson of Governing.com says six of the 13 Attorney General races in 2012 will be competitive and of those, the Pennsylvania race will be one of the two tightest. 

No Democrat has won the attorney general's office in the Keystone State since it became an elective position three decades ago. But with Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett winning the governorship last November, the contest in 2012 is too unsettled to handicap with any degree of certainty. Much depends on whether the appointee to fill the remaining two years of Corbett’s term is a strong candidate -- and if they run for a term of their own in 2012. Despite the Democrats’ historical inability to win the office, Pennsylvania has been increasingly friendly to Democrats -- 2010 being the exception -- and Democratic candidates should do better in a presidential year. In addition, the party has a strong bench that includes former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, recently defeated U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. Until the race settles down, though, we’re leaving it in tossup.


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