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PA Political News

On Tuesday, Democrats maintained their hold on three Philadelphia seats in a special election.  Former State Representative/City Councilman Ed Neilson, Donna Bullock, a former special assistant to City Council President Darrell L. Clarke and Joanna McClinton, former chief counsel to State Sen. Anthony H. Williams all won election to vacant seats created by two resignations and Sen. John Sabatina’s election to the upper chamber.  As a result, Republicans continue with 119 members, and when the newly elected representatives are sworn in August 25, Democrats will have 84 House seats.

In what was a surprise to very few, Kathleen McGinty last week announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination to run for the US Senate next spring.  She will face former Congressman Joe Sestak, and the winner of the primary will face US Senator Pat Toomey in November 2016.  Former Governor Ed Rendell will chair McGinty’s campaign.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane was criminally charged last Thursday with conspiracy, obstruction, oppression, perjury and false swearing, violating grand jury secrecy laws for allegedly leaking details of an investigation to embarrass a political foe and then lying about the matter under oath.  Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman charged Kane at a news conference in Norristown.

Kane offered a statement Wednesday, insisting she had violated no laws of the Commonwealth and saying the criminal charges were engineered by people trying to cover up a scandal that blew up in 2014 over pornographic emails sent on state computers.  Kane surrendered without offering a plea, and faces a preliminary hearing on Aug. 24.