It’s no secret former Bucks County U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is announcing today he’ll run for attorney general of Pennsylvania, turning his back on a re-re-re-match with Mike Fitzpatrick, the man who took his Congressional seat in November.
Just as interesting as the end of the Rocky Balboa/Apollo Creed-like rivalry between Murphy and Fitzpatrick is Murphy’s decision to set his sights on statewide political office.
Because nobody runs for a state row office like attorney general to actually be attorney general. It’s a stepping stone to a gubernatorial run, and in steering a course toward Harrisburg, Murphy puts himself on a collision course with a couple of other next-generation Democratic leaders from eastern Pennsylvania.
Rob McCord of Bryn Mawr is in the middle of his first term as state treasurer, and he’s made some noise, suing to get into Gaming Control Board meetings and taking on issues of corporate governance and responsibility.
And there’s State Rep. Josh Shapiro, a four-term reform minded legislator who was once a rising star in Harrisburg. He’s now on the outs with the Democratic leadership in the capitol, and is running to become commissioner of Montgomery County.
McCord and Shapiro are both guys with ideas, charisma, political savvy and fundraising ability. That makes them potential gubernatorial candidates when the office looks winnable for Democrats.
And depending how his likely second term goes, you could throw Philly Mayor Michael Nutter into the mix.
So welcome to the party, Patrick. Put your game face on.