State Sen. John Rafferty today announced his intention to run for Pennsylvania attorney general in the 2012 election.

The two-term Republican from Montgomery County made it official at the headquarters of the state Fraternal Order of Police in Harrisburg.

He opened with a reference to the Penn State sex scandal being prosecuted by the Attorney General's office, Rafferty said he, like everyone, has been shocked and angered by the recent headlines of child abuse by a "trusted figure' and cover ups by "highly respected" organization.

Rafferty  - who also represents parts of Chester and Berks counties - said as attorney general he would aggressively fight child abuse, protect citizens from predators and those engaged in drug activity and white collar fraud.

Rafferty said he had "zero tolerance" for political corruption.

He said he abhored the illegal use of tax payer dollars to enhance political positions," a reference to "Bonusgate" the other celebrated case pursued by then-Attorney General Tom Corbett and now by his successor Linda Kelly.

Kelly, whom Corbett named to fill his position earlier this year, agreed not to run for the office.

Both the FOP and the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association endorsed Rafferty today.

Rafferty, who once served as deputy attorney general  and has chaired the law and justice committee in the state Senate. says he will remain in the Senate during the campaign. His third term runs through 2014.

Three Democrats have so far made known their intention to run for the nomination: former congressman Patrick Murphy of Bucks County, former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane and Jenkintown lawyer Dan McCaffery.

A second Republican, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, had considered entering the race several months ago, but said in an email today that "now was not the right time to embark on a campaign for statewide office. " She said looked forward to continuing to represent the residents of Montgomery County as their DA.

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