PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As chair of the state Senate Transportation Committee, Pennsylvania Senator John Rafferty of suburban Philadelphia is best known for shepherding Act 89, the law that raised the gas tax to pump billions of dollars into road and bridge repair.
“It’s the only way you’re going to boost the economy of Pennsylvania, and it was incumbent upon us to address a lackluster and neglected transportation system here in the commonwealth,” Rafferty told KDKA political editor Jon Delano. “So I’m very proud of the work we’ve done.”
Delano: “So you make no apologies that we have to pay more at the pump?”
Rafferty: “No, I do not because what we did was pass it on through the oil franchise tax fulling expecting that the oil companies would pass it back on to the consumers.”
Now Rafferty is the Republican Party-endorsed candidate for state attorney general, where he once prosecuted Medicaid fraud cases.
“After seeing what has happened with the office of attorney general under the present attorney general where we gave the opposite party its first chance run the office of attorney general — and it’s not worked out well at all — I decided I was going forward to grasp the reins of power in the office of attorney general and really right that ship.”
Rafferty is opposed in the Republican primary by Joe Peters, a former state prosecutor who worked for every elected state Attorney General.
But Rafferty says this about Peters:
“He went to Kathleen Kane’s office, not as a prosecutor. He went there as her mouthpiece, and he sat in her executive office suite and advised her at a time when very bad decisions were being made. So he cannot hide from that. He worked for her. He was part of what became the mess. I don’t trust him to clean up the mess.”
Rafferty says only he has the right skills for Attorney General.
“I have been an effective legislator, but also have been an effective business owner, have been an effective prosecutor, have been an effective civil lawyer, so that combination of those characteristics and traits nobody running for the office of attorney general can touch or match.”
Both parties have contested primaries for attorney general.
Joe Peters and John Rafferty for the Republicans.
John Morganelli, Josh Shapiro, and Steve Zappala for the Democrats.
It’s been a tough battle in both parties with Republicans thinking after Kane they can take back this office, and Democrats looking for a strong candidate to hold the seat.
The primary is April 26th.