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Corbett faces tough task of appointing his replacement

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Corbett’s political career received a boost in 1995 when he was appointed attorney general by then Governor Tom Ridge.

Now, the Republican will need to select someone to finish out his term as attorney general.

Corbett has to hope the appointment process for his replacement goes more smoothly than the confirmation battle he faced 15 years ago. Senate Democrats held up Corbett’s appointment for three months, questioning his independence from Ridge, whom Corbett had campaigned for.

The main political hurdle facing Corbett’s choice is the ongoing legislative corruption investigation, according to political scientist Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College.

“Whoever gets dropped into this particular position by Governor-elect Corbett will be in the midst of leading a major corruption investigation with the ‘Bonusgate’ trials,” said Borick. “So it’s simply going to be putting someone into the spotlight, because they’re going to carry on the work that Corbett’s done earlier.”

Corbett’s spokesman says the attorney general won’t resign until Jan. 18, the day he’s inaugurated governor.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Bill Ryan will serve as acting attorney general until the replacement is confirmed by two-thirds of the Senate. By tradition, the pick won’t run for re-election in 2012.

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