Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) has announced that she will not run for re-election, ending a once-promising political career that is fighting for survival. Kane was elected to the post in 2012 and was the first Democrat and first female to be elected to the post since it became an elected position in 1980. In January, Kane had told reporters that she had planned to run for re-election despite political scandal. Polling had shown her ahead of Republican opponents, but Kane announced today, the filing deadline, that she would not run.
Kane said that she is not running because her sons need her at home. She has two sons and Kane and her husband are currently going through divorce proceedings. “While this was not an easy decision for me, while I love Pennsylvania, I love my sons first,” she told reporters at a press conference in her hometown of Scranton. She did not take questions from the press.
Kane is currently embroiled in political scandal for allegedly leaking grand jury information to a reporter and then lying about the leak while under oath. She was charged by Montgomery County prosecutors and had her law license suspended which led to questions whether she could even serve another term as Attorney General since the Attorney General must be a member of the bar. She unsuccessfully attempted to get the state Supreme Court to reinstate her license.
The state Senate narrowly defeated a measure to remove Kane last week and Governor Tom Wolf (D) has publicly called for her resignation.
Kane has denied the allegations against her and has said that the “old boys club” has worked to oppose her and her efforts to fight corruption and reveal obscene emails among Pennsylvanian public officials. Kane told reporters on Tuesday that she would spend the rest of her term fighting the culture of corruption she says exists in Pennsylvania.
Numerous Pennsylvanian public officials are entangled in the email scandal, including Kane’s own sister. Supreme Cout Justice Seamus McCaffery retired in the wake of the email revelations and ethics charges are being brought against Michael Eakin. The emails included obscene and derogatory content that insulted gays, women, ethnic, and religious groups.
Kane was a rising star in the state Democratic Party. Her candidacy was backed by former President Bill Clinton and he stumped for several times in the election. Kane had taken a position with the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008. Despite running as a “prosecutor, not a politician,” Kane was seen as a possible contender for either the governor’s mansion or the Senate. She declined to run against Governor Tom Corbett in 2014 and Senator Pat Toomey this cycle.