Pennsylvania attorney general facing trial will not seek re-election

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane congratulates Governor Tom Wolf following his inauguration ceremony at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Makela

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who faces trial in August for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information, on Tuesday ruled out running for a second term.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane congratulates Governor Tom Wolf following his inauguration ceremony at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Makela

Kane is the first woman and first Democrat elected as the state’s top law enforcement officer, and her current four-year term concludes at the end of 2016.

“(I’m) a mother first and foremost,” Kane, who is divorced and has two teenage sons, told reporters at a news conference in Scranton.

“I have two very important people at home,” said Kane, 49, of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. “As you all know, being a single mother… that in itself is a full-time job.”

She vigorously defended her time in office, especially her efforts to “rid the state of corruption” but declined to answer further questions.

Tuesday marked the deadline in Pennsylvania for filing nominating petitions for the May primary election. Kane was expected to face at least two and possibly three Democratic opponents in the primary while at the same time defending herself against the legal charges.

Kane has been in legal hot water ever since her indictment last summer for allegedly passing grand jury information to a reporter as part of a personal feud.

Her law license was suspended in October as a result of the grand jury indictment.

Kane has portrayed herself as a victim of an “old boys’ network” worried about her efforts to expose prosecutors and Supreme Court judges who had exchanged sexually explicit or offensive emails on state computers. 

Last week, Democrats in the state Senate defeated a Republican-led effort to remove her from office on the grounds that her suspended law license made it impossible for her to do her job.

One of her chief critics, Representative Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican, said on Tuesday he welcomed her decision not to run but also wished she had resigned. 

He said he would continue to support a separate effort in the House of Representatives to impeach Kane.

Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Lisa Shumaker

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