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Former Auditor General DePasquale projected to win Democratic nod for Pa. attorney general

Eugene DePasquale (Credit: DePasquale Campaign/Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
April 23, 2024

In a come-from-behind victory Tuesday, former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale emerged as the projected winner, according to the Associated Press, of a five-way Democratic primary for Pennsylvania attorney general.

Speaking at the American Federation of Teachers hall in Pittsburgh as he held a lead with more than twice as many votes as his nearest opponent, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, DePasquale told supporters he would be a bulwark against the MAGA policies and election denial of his Republican opponent in November, York County District Attorney Dave Sunday.

“Dave Sunday made election denial a corner stone of his campaign from day one and still cannot look into the camera and say Joe Biden won in 2020,” DePasquale said. “We cannot have that as our attorney general. Democracy was born in Pennsylvania. We will not let it die here.”

Sunday, who was the GOP’s endorsed candidate, defeated state Rep. Craig Williams (R-Delaware) with nearly 70 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

The winner of the November election will take over from Attorney General Michelle Henry, who Gov. Josh Shapiro appointed to his unfinished term last year. Henry said at the time she would not seek election.

Without an incumbent, five Democrats and two Republicans ran for their parties’ nominations for attorney general in the November election.

While the Pennsylvania Republican party endorsed  Sunday over state Rep. Craig Williams (R-Delaware), the Democratic Party did not endorse, leading to a competitive race. 

In addition to DePasquale, on the crowded Democratic ballot were former Philadelphia Chief Public Defender Kier Bradford-Gray, former Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan, state Rep. Jared Solomon, and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer. 

The seven candidates’ campaigns spent more than $4 million in 2023 and 2024. Sunday’s campaign also got a boost from GOP mega donor Jeffrey Yass, with more than $300,000 in spending on Sunday’s behalf.

The attorney general is often considered the second most powerful elected official in the commonwealth after the governor. 

As the state’s top legal official, the attorney general steers criminal justice policy, investigates and prosecutes crime and serves as a consumer watchdog. Two of the last three elected attorneys general went on to serve as governor.

Sunday was first elected York County district attorney in 2017 and was reelected in 2022. Sunday also served as an assistant district attorney in York County and was appointed to serve as a special assistant U.S. attorney to prosecute drug, gun and gang cases in federal court. During the primary campaign, Sunday touted his experience as a prosecutor leading a group violence initiative that led to a decrease in gang violence and homicides in the city of York.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.