Sparks fly in Pa. attorney general debate

    It’s independence versus experience as candidates for state attorney general try to define the race on their own terms.

    For the Democratic candidate, questions inevitably lead to claims of independence. Former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane says she wants to beef up the A-G office’s public corruption unit and investigate the office’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

    “The difference between my opponent and I,” Kane said, “is I was not handpicked by Tom Corbett. I do not owe my candidacy to anyone.”

    Republican candidate Dave Freed, who has Corbett’s endorsement, beat back Kane’s attempts to sully his independence with references to his seven years as the District Attorney in Cumberland County.

    “I must have missed the phone call when Governor Corbett called and handpicked me to run for Attorney General,” said Freed. “That was a decision I made on my own based on my record and the breadth of experience I’ve gained as a D-A.”

    He says he has the managerial experience to run an office that suffers from perennial lack of resources, and wants to start a special victims unit and prioritize cybercrime investigations and fighting synthetic drugs.

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