Kelly unanimously approved as Pa. attorney general

    The Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously confirmed Linda Kelly as the state’s attorney general. The 50-0 vote makes Kelly the first female attorney general since the post became an elected office in 1981.

    Kelly spent the bulk of her career in the Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney’s office, where she served as Tom Corbett’s chief deputy when he held the federal post in the early 1990s. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University Law School, and has worked at the U.S. Attorney’s office since 1980.

    Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said it was “hard to justify a vote against her,” arguing, “She was clearly qualified. There were no arguments against her qualifications. So the only arguments that could come forward would be political arguments. When she agreed not to be a candidate moving forward, that removed another potential objection.”

    In fact, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa introduced Kelly, during her confirmation hearing earlier this month.

    Kelly’s road to confirmation was much smoother than what Corbett faced, when he was nominated to fill Ernie Preate’s term in 1995. Corbett’s nomination was held up for months, and used as a political bargaining chip by Democrats.

    The governor’s office did not return calls for comment on Kelly’s confirmation.

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