Race for Pennsylvania’s open attorney general seat spurs robust fundraising

Five Democrats and two Republicans are seeking their parties’ nomination to replace Shapiro appointee Michelle Henry

By: - February 2, 2024 3:55 pm

Ranked choice voting, which asks voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference, has seen its profile steadily expand since 2016. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Campaigns for Pennsylvania’s legal, financial, and government accountability watchdogs are ramping up as the April 23 primary election approaches, and the candidates this week revealed how their war chests are stocked.

Two Democrats are competing in each of the campaigns for auditor general and treasurer, but the Republican incumbents will be unchallenged in the primary. 

But with Attorney General Michelle Henry, who Gov. Josh Shapiro appointed to complete his term, not running for election, both the Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s top law enforcement official will be contested.

State attorneys general have been recognized for their power to steer policy in a number of areas where the political parties have become increasingly divergent in recent years such as the climate and environment, civil rights and elections. 

The race for the nomination to be Pennsylvania’s next attorney general has attracted the most robust fundraising so far. 

State Rep. Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) ended 2023 with just over $1 million on hand, far and away the largest amount among the five Democrats competing for the nomination, according to his campaign finance report that was due Wednesday. 

The majority of Solomon’s fundraising last year, about $815,000, came as donations of more than $250 from individuals. His campaign committee spent about $229,000 last year.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer reported $368,461 in his campaign coffer on Dec. 31, the bulk of which, about $310,000, he transferred from his campaign for district attorney.

Former Bucks County solicitor and federal prosecutor Joe Khan reported raising just over $500,000 in 2023 and spent about $360,000 leaving $314,068 cash on hand.

Philadelphia Public Defender Kier Bradford-Grey reported $211,467 on hand after spending $167,591 last year.

And former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale had $179,965 after spending $140,916, according to his report.

The two Republican candidates reported smaller campaign funds. York County District Attorney David Sunday, who received the state GOP’s endorsement last month, reported just over $51,000, while state Rep. Craig Williams (R-Delaware) reported about $42,000.

In the race for auditor general, incumbent Republican Timothy DeFoor ended 2023 with just $2,523 in his campaign committee after spending about $22,000. Incumbent Treasurer Stacy Garrity, however, had $551,580 in her campaign fund.

Pa. Democrats endorse Kenyatta for auditor general, Bizzarro for treasurer

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) is the endorsed Democratic candidate for auditor general. His year-end report included $280,908 in contributions and $143,999 in spending, leaving $148,679 on hand.

He will be challenged in the primary by Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley, who reported $102,911 on hand at the end of 2023.

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) is the endorsed Democratic candidate for treasurer and reported $359,259 on hand. His primary opponent, former 12th District congressional nominee Erin McClelland reported $105,001 in her campaign account.

The next campaign finance reporting deadline is March 12. 

[This article was updated at 3:54 p.m. on Monday, Feb 5, 2024, to include figures from Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta’s year-end report.]


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Peter Hall
Peter Hall

Peter Hall has been a journalist in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for more than 20 years, most recently covering criminal justice and legal affairs for The Morning Call in Allentown. His career at local newspapers and legal business publications has taken him from school board meetings to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and many points of interest between. He earned a degree in journalism from Susquehanna University.