THERE WILL BE no "tough cookie" in the race for state attorney general next year.
Former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who received that political-gift of a nickname from the late Mayor Frank Rizzo, likes her new law-firm job and won't give it up for a statewide race, according to longtime campaign adviser Eleanor Dezzi.
That's good news for former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and former assistant district attorney Dan McCaffery, two Philly pols seeking the state's top law-enforcement job in the April 24 Democratic primary election.
Kathleen Granahan Kane, a former prosecutor from the Scranton area, also is running.
Murphy this week was endorsed by former Gov. Ed Rendell, a remarkably early move for a race that has barely begun, but a move that likely will help the Iraq War veteran raise money.
Murphy will report next week that he has $1 million in his campaign war chest.
We expect Murphy, who fought to repeal the military's "don't-ask-don't-tell" ban on gay service members, to stand onstage next to President Obama during every trip to southeastern Pennsylvania next year.
Look for McCaffery to tout his courtroom experience in the race. He has $250,000 in the bank, half of which was raised when U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, chairman of the Democratic City Committee, held a fundraiser.
Across the state, Pittsburgh political consultant Bill Green predicts that his friend Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. will not enter the race. Zappala had been a rumored candidate.
Green notes two key factors about the Attorney General's Office: No Democrat has held the job since it was made an elected post three decades ago. And the so-called "A.G." often is said to refer to "aspiring governor."
No attorney general reached the state's top office until last year, when Gov. Tom Corbett made the office jump.
Green thinks Democrats are eager to finally win the job, especially now that it really can be a springboard to bigger things.
The only Republican on record saying he will run is state Sen. John Rafferty of Collegeville, a former assistant attorney general. Rafferty shared his plans in August with PoliticsPA.com, but did not respond to our questions.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed also are said to be considering runs in the Republican primary next year.
Clinton to rally voters
The mayoral election looks like an easy win for Mayor Nutter, but he's still bringing in a heavy-duty closer to stump for votes.
Former President Bill Clinton will headline a rally Oct. 29, Nutter's campaign confirmed yesterday. Clinton will try to pump up voters at Temple University's Mitten Hall and shake hands at a private fundraiser for Nutter.
"He offered to do the event, he's been talking about wanting to do something for me for a while," Nutter said. "I couldn't be more excited."
Nutter - who worked aggressively on behalf of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign during the Pennsylvania primary election in 2008 - said he hoped Clinton would help drive up turnout in what is expected to be a low-participation election.
"Certainly his presence in Philadelphia around election time will help remind people that there is an election and turnout is important for all of us," Nutter said, adding that juicing turnout this fall could benefit President Obama's re-election campaign next year.
Just how many people will attend the rally is not clear, but the hall holds up to 750.
Brown drops FCC suit
Karen Brown, the Republican nominee for mayor, this week filed and then dropped a Federal Communications Commission complaint against NBC10.
The station excluded Brown from a "live town hall" it held with Mayor Nutter last week, prompting her to protest outside until it promised to give her some time on the air. Brown then rejected an offer to appear on the "@Issue" program that airs on Sunday morning, saying she wanted a program similar to what Nutter had.
Brown's FCC complaint caught NBC10 by surprise and kicked negotiations back into gear. She now will appear on a special 30-minute "@Issue" program at 7 p.m. Oct. 18.
The station will do the same for Wali "Diop" Rahman, an independent candidate for mayor, who will appear on "@Issue" Oct. 25.
Rahman was shut out by Fox29 this week when it taped the only mayoral debate scheduled before the Nov. 8 general election. That debate airs at 10:30 tonight on Fox29.