PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Tom Corbett became Pennsylvania’s governor, he left his old position of attorney general vacant. Although voters won’t choose the new attorney general until next spring, one candidate has already hit the campaign trail.
The first thing Attorney General candidate Patrick Murphy wants people to know is what he can bring to the office.
“My background as a former prosecutor in the Army JAG corps, as someone who is the son of a Philadelphia police officer, as someone who has devoted his life to protect people whether it was in the army or in public service,” he explains. “And I think I bring that attribute to that job.”
A former suburban Philadelphia Congressman, Murphy is the first Democrat to announce for Governor Tom Corbett’s old job.
He says the job is about “cracking down on crime whether it happens on the street, whether it happens in the corporate board room, or whether it happens in Harrisburg when people are feathering their own nest.”
Murphy says the events of September 11th changed his life.
“On September 12th, I volunteered for combat and a few months later I shipped out,” he recalls.
In 2006, Murphy became the first Iraq War vet elected to Congress.
“That’s why I wear the 82nd Airborne pin on my lapel because that’s what got me into this type of public service,” he gestures towards the small pin on his lapel.
Two years after being elected to Congress, Murphy was the first Pennsylvania official to endorse Barack Obama.
“Do I agree with him on everything? Absolutely not,” Murphy laughs. “My wife doesn’t agree with me on everything. I have a mixed marriage. My wife’s Republican, and I’m Democrat.”
And Murphy says he’s a pro-choice Catholic.
“Constitution says you cannot legislate your personal religious beliefs on other people,” he says.
As for Second Amendment gun rights, he’s an owner.
“I have a concealed carry permit in my back pocket,” he says. “I’m a gun owner. I shot expert when I was in the Army with an M-4 assault rifle.”
The primary election for Attorney General is not for another nine months, but Murphy hopes that by starting early, he’ll have an advantage.
A lot of other candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, are expected to run for this wide-open seat. However, no Democrat has ever been elected Attorney General in Pennsylvania.