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Shapiro well positioned for AG run, poll says

Memo outlines Josh Shapiro's strategy for a possible run for Pennsylvania attorney general. He is chairman of the Montgomery County commissioners.

An internal strategy memo shows Montgomery County Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro in good position to run for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, with wide name recognition thanks to his prominence in the Philadelphia media market – home to about 42 percent of the party's primary voters.

In addition, the memo, from pollster Jefrey Pollock of the Global Strategy Group touches on survey findings that likely Democratic voters would favor someone with Shapiro's executive experience running the state's third-largest county government, in a hypothetical matchup with a career prosecutor, 61 percent to 39 percent. (See link below for the full memo.)

To be sure, testing a "career politician" against an experienced prosecutor could also yield a favorable result. It all depends on a campaign's skill in framing the questions - and ultimately the arguments in the race. Shapiro is a lawyer but has not worked as a prosecutor. He is, however, chairman of a gubernatorial board that works on justice-system reform.

Shapiro is seriously considering running for attorney general. Incumbent Democrat Kathleen Kane has been damaged by scandal, her law license is suspended and she faces criminal charges of leaking secret grand jury information to damage a political rival. The state Senate is considering a vote to remove Kane from office. She has not decided whether to run for reelection, her spokesman said this week.

Stephen Zappala Jr., the Allegheny District Attorney, plans to announce his candidacy next week. He successfully prosecuted a Supreme Court justice and a state senator on corruption charges for using  state workers for political purposes, and has hired Ken Snyder, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney's media man, as well as Anna Greenberg, pollster for that campaign.

Jack Stollsteimer, a former state and federal prosecutor from Delaware County, announced he was running in August. He recently hired the consulting firm of Joe Slade White & Co., which has worked for Vice President Biden.

John Morganelli, district attorney of Northampton County, is considering a run for the nomination. David Fawcellt, a Pittsburgh lawyer who was on the Allegheny County Council has told the Post-Gazette he is running.

Global Strategy Group interviewed 802 registered Pennsylvania Democrats who said they were likely to vote in the primary Nov. 19-23. Results of its Shapiro poll are subject to a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

UPDATED: This post has been corrected to include candidate Jack Stollsteimer, who was erronenously excluded from an earlier version, as well as updated to include more information about Zappala.