(from left) Ward Leader John Sabatina Sr., State Rep. John Sabatina Jr., Attorney Bill Brennan, bar owner Mike Driscoll, Ward Leader Bob Dellavella, Dan McCaffery, State Rep. Kevin Boyle, and Ward Leader Bill Dolbow. McCaffery was at City Hall on Thursday January 5 to announce his run for attorney general.
Dan McCaffery has been in the race for Pennsylvania attorney general since September, but last week, he hosted an event at City Hall to show off the support he has in his hometown.
“Pretty much everybody is with me in Philadelphia,” he said.
McCaffery, who lives in the Delaire Landing condominium complex on State Road in East Torresdale, will run in the April 24 Democratic primary against former congressman Patrick Murphy and former Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Kane.
Nominating petitions will be collected from Jan. 24 to Feb. 14.
Republican candidates are state Sen. John Rafferty of Montgomery County, and Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed.
Since attorney general became an elected office in 1980, Republicans have won all eight races, thanks to strong candidates and the GOP’s reputation as the law-and-order party.
Democrats have run some lackluster candidates for attorney general, but all three running this year seem viable. Murphy and Kane have posted strong fund-raising numbers, and McCaffery expects to raise $1.5 million to $2 million. His supporters include organized labor, the Philadelphia police and firefighters unions and fellow lawyers.
“I’ll be fine with money,” he said.
A Father Judge High School graduate and former member of the U.S. Army’s First Cavalry Division, McCaffery earned his law degree from Temple University in 1991. He worked six years as a Philadelphia assistant district attorney and has spent the last 15 years with the Jenkintown-based firm Friedman, Schuman.
“I’m the only one who has been practicing law for twenty-one years,” McCaffery said, comparing himself favorably to his two primary opponents. “From a credentials standpoint, it’s not a close race. I’ve managed a law firm.”
McCaffery, who has two daughters and is the brother of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, declared that he is “unwavering in my commitment for justice.” He ran for district attorney in 2009, finishing second among five candidates in the primary.
In looking at the political landscape, McCaffery has no interest in offices other than those where he can use his legal skills.
“This is a way for me to give back. I’m excited by the opportunity,” he said. “I have no desire to be a politician.”
The Democratic State Committee will meet Friday and Saturday to endorse a candidate. McCaffery believes he is closing in on the two-thirds vote necessary to win the endorsement, thanks in part to his strength in the western part of the state.
The Jan. 5 event attracted elected officials including U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, City Controller Alan Butkovitz, City Councilman Bobby Henon and state Reps. John Sabatina Jr. and Kevin Boyle; local ward leaders Bill Dolbow, Bob Dellavella and John Sabatina Sr.; and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 business manager John Dougherty.
That same day, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz endorsed Murphy, citing his work on issues such as health care and women’s rights.
“Patrick will always stand up for working families and the values we all hold dear,” she said. “His record makes that very clear. That’s what Pennsylvania needs in its next attorney general.” ••