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2012 Year in Review: New Pa. Attorney General Elected on Promise of Sandusky Probe

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania elected its first Democratic attorney general in 2012, and the first female in that post (see news story).  The race was shaped in a big way by the child sex abuse scandal involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The investigation that led to charges against Sandusky began when Tom Corbett, now Pennsylvania governor, was running the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office.

After Corbett became governor, polls showed that many Pennsylvania voters questioned why Sandusky wasn’t arrested sooner (see news story).

Democrat Kathleen Kane vowed to investigate the way the case was handled, and made that a centerpiece of her campaign for Pennsylvania attorney general.

“It is your duty as a prosecutor to get the pedophile off of the street,” she said during one campaign stop.

Franklin and Marshall College pollster and political analyst Terry Madonna believes Kane’s strategy was, in his words, “brilliant,” because “it utilized the unpopularity of many aspects of the Penn State situation.”

Other major factors in Kane’s victory, Madonna believes, include the fact that she was a female candidate and her pledge to “change the culture” of Harrisburg.

Governor Corbett, meanwhile, says he’s not concerned about any probe into his handling of the Sandusky case by the future attorney general.

 

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