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Pennsylvania swears in newly elected Democratic state executive officials

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January 15, 2013


By Maresa Strano

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale
Attorney General Kathleen Kane

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania: In November, Pennsylvania voters elected two new Democrats, Kathleen Kane and Eugene DePasquale, to state-row.[1] Today, both were sworn into office.

Kane's oath makes her the first Democrat and first woman elected Attorney General in the state's history.[2] She succeeded Republican Linda Kelly, who was appointed to serve out the remainder of current Gov. Tom Corbett's term following his election to the top office in 2010. Kelly was the first woman to hold the position since it became an independent elected position in 1981, but her claim as an appointee left Kane with the additional designation of being the first ever woman elected attorney general, the state's chief law enforcement officer.[3]

Whether Kelly would have been able to beat Kane to the honor of this particular "first" no one will ever know, owing to the circumstances of her appointment. Kelly's 2010 Senate confirmation had been predicated on a "gentleman's agreement"-a staple of Pennsylvania state politics-whereby state executive appointees pledge to not seek a full term to the position in the subsequent election cycle.[4]

Also sworn in this afternoon was former state lawmaker and now Pennsylvania's 51st State Auditor Eugene DePasquale. DePasquale was elected in November to take over as the state's head financial watchdog. He replaces fellow Democrat Jack Wagner, who was first elected in 2004 and could not run again in 2012 due to term limits.[5]

The third state executive position up for election last fall in the Keystone state was State Treasurer. Incumbent Rob McCord (D) ran for and won re-election on November 6, 2012. He began his second term today with the following oath, taken in turn by new colleagues Kane and DePasquale:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity." [6]

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