HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Republican candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general is a four-term state senator from the Philadelphia suburbs who chairs the Transportation Committee.

Sen. John Rafferty of Montgomery County on Tuesday easily beat former prosecutor and police officer Joe Peters to win the GOP nomination.

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In a written statement, he promised to restore credibility and public confidence in the 800-employee office, now led by an attorney general facing trial on criminal charges.

The incumbent, Democrat Kathleen Kane, isn’t seeking a second term. She’s facing trial on charges she unlawfully leaked grand jury information and the lied about it and has been stripped of her law license.

Kane was the first woman and first Democrat to be voted into the job since it became an elected office more than three decades ago.

She was viewed as an up-and-comer in state politics early in her tenure, making a name for herself with several high-profile decisions. She declined to defend a state law prohibiting gay marriage and blocked a plan by then-Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, to hire an outside company to manage the state lottery.

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Her campaign promise to investigate how state prosecutors handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal led to an investigation that found no signs that Corbett and others had made decisions for political reasons.

But it turned up evidence that state prosecutors, lawyers, judges and others had been trading emails with salacious content and messages that demeaned women, minorities, gays and others. Two state Supreme Court justices have retired over their participation in the scandal, dozens within Kane’s agency have been disciplined, and an outside review of the emails is underway.

Kane announced Feb. 16 she would not seek a second term while she prepares for her August trial on perjury and other charges.

The attorney general’s office prosecutes such major crimes as drug rings, organized crime, child predators and public corruption, and it works to protect consumers from fraud, represents state agencies in litigation and handles cases when local district attorneys have conflicts.

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