Shapiro elected attorney general; DePasquale back as auditor general
Pennsylvania’s next attorney general will be county Commissioner Josh Shapiro, who’ll take over an office wracked by turmoil over the arrest and conviction of a predecessor.
Voters on Tuesday chose the Democrat from the Philadelphia suburb of Montgomery County over Republican state Sen. John Rafferty.
He’ll be the agency’s fourth leader since August, when Democrat Kathleen Kane stepped down after being convicted of leaking secret grand jury material and lying about it.
Kane has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison.
The attorney general is Pennsylvania’s top-ranking law enforcement official. The agency has more than 800 employees.
In other state races, State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is being returned to the job to serve four more years as Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog.
The Democratic incumbent bested three challengers Tuesday to head an office with more than 400 employees and a budget of more than $50 million.
The agency keeps tabs on state spending and recommends changes to how government agencies operate.
Auditor general has been a political launching pad in recent years. The last three people elected to hold the position all later ran for higher office.
Also, Democrat Joe Torsella will be taking over an office marred by scandal after winning the race for Pennsylvania treasurer.
Torsella, of Montgomery County, beat Republican businessman Otto Voit of Berks County in Tuesday’s election.
The 53-year-old Torsella was most recently a presidential appointee to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
The treasurer oversees the 360-employee agency that processes $90 billion in payments every year and is custodian of over $100 billion of public money. The office also has been drawn into the state’s budget fights and struggles with deficits in recent years.
Two of the last three elected treasurers are embroiled in scandal. One, Rob McCord, pleaded guilty last year to federal attempted extortion charges. Barbara Hafer is facing federal charges in a case that revolves around treasury investment contracts.