Kathleen Kane made history on Tuesday by becoming Pennsylvania’s first woman Atty. Gen. and also the first Democrat to be elected to the post. With the news of her win, a jubilant Kane told her supporters, “Tonight is a historic night … We have expanded the boundaries for women in Pennsylvania.”
Kane had debuted as an insignificant figure in the race and had to slug it out against former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in the Democratic primary. Her image as a person new to politics helped. Her husband Chris Kane also helped with a sound donation of $2 million to her campaign, and family bonding did not go unnoticed by the electorate.
Her battle against Murphy in the Democratic primary made her face known as a serious contender for the post of Attorney General. Her opponent, Republican David Freed, was unopposed in the Republican primary and as a result failed to garner as much public attention.
However, Kane proved herself as a worthy campaigner and was equally emphatic in pointing out that all was not well with the way things were being run at the current Attorney General’s office, as she was emphatic in pointing out the weaknesses of her political opponent.
Both Kane and Freed brought the Sandusky matter into their campaigns, which was inevitable, but Kane’s presentation was more convincing and she drew more empathy as a newcomer. On the other hand, Freed is a political heavyweight with his father-in-law being LeRoy Zimmerman, the first elected attorney general of Pennsylvania.
Kane was handed a trump by the Republicans when a TV ad sponsored by the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington targeted Kane and accused her of mishandling two rape cases as prosecutor. However, the allegations proved false, and Kane’s former boss, the Republican district attorney of Lackawanna County stated publicly that Kane was not associated with either case. Democrats cashed in on the gaffe made by Republicans in attacking Kane’s competence – and Kane took a clear lead, finishing as winner and making history.