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Race for Pennsylvania’s open attorney general seat spurs robust fundraising

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Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
February 2, 2024

Campaigns for Pennsylvania’s legal, financial, and government accountability watchdogs are ramping up as the April 23 primary election approaches, and the candidates this week revealed how their war chests are stocked.

Two Democrats are competing in each of the campaigns for auditor general and treasurer, but the Republican incumbents will be unchallenged in the primary. 

But with Attorney General Michelle Henry, who Gov. Josh Shapiro appointed to complete his term, not running for election, both the Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s top law enforcement official will be contested.

State attorneys general have been recognized for their power to steer policy in a number of areas where the political parties have become increasingly divergent in recent years such as the climate and environment, civil rights and elections. 

The race for the nomination to be Pennsylvania’s next attorney general has attracted the most robust fundraising so far. 

State Rep. Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) ended 2023 with just over $1 million on hand, far and away the largest amount among the four Democrats competing for the nomination, according to his campaign finance report that was due Wednesday. 

The majority of Solomon’s fundraising last year, about $815,000, came as donations of more than $250 from individuals. His campaign committee spent about $229,000 last year.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer reported $368,461 in his campaign coffer on Dec. 31, the bulk of which, about $310,000, he transferred from his campaign for district attorney.

Former Bucks County solicitor and federal prosecutor Joe Khan reported raising just over $500,000 in 2023 and spent about $360,000 leaving $314,068 cash on hand.

Philadelphia Public Defender Kier Bradford-Grey reported $211,467 on hand after spending $167,591 last year.

And former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale had $179,965 after spending $140,916, according to his report.

The two Republican candidates reported smaller campaign funds. York County District Attorney David Sunday, who received the state GOP’s endorsement last month, reported just over $51,000, while state Rep. Craig Williams (R-Delaware) reported about $42,000.

In the race for auditor general, incumbent Republican Timothy DeFoor ended 2023 with just $2,523 in his campaign committee after spending about $22,000. Incumbent Treasurer Stacey Garrity, however, had $551,580 in her campaign fund.

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) is the endorsed Democratic candidate for auditor general, but his year-end campaign finance report was not available from the Department of State or his campaign on Friday. 

He will be challenged in the primary by Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley, who reported $102,911 on hand at the end of 2023.

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) is the endorsed Democratic candidate for treasurer and reported $359,259 on hand. His primary opponent, former 12th District congressional nominee Erin McClelland reported $105,001 in her campaign account.

The next campaign finance reporting deadline is March 12. 

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.