Next week's primary gives voters a chance to weigh in on 15 contested state House races, a few special elections, a race for auditor general, and a battle for the Democratic candidacy for attorney general.

It's not a long list of contests, but the Daily News focused on one big race for the sole endorsement we'll be offering this primary season: The race for attorney general.

The interest in this race is due to the two strong Democratic candidates who could ultimately break the stranglehold Republicans have typically held on this office.

Patrick Murphy, 38, congressman from Bucks County, is running against Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane, 45.

Our endorsement goes to Kathleen Kane.

Murphy has impressive credentials — and an impressive list of endorsements, from President Obama's advisor David Alexrod to Ed Rendell and Mayor Nutter. A Philadelphia-born lawyer, Murphy is a decorated Iraq veteran who served as judge advocate in Iraq and Bosnia. He sees the A.G.'s office as a bully pulpit with which to make a difference on issues like the Pennsylvania proposal requiring women who want an abortion to get an ultrasound, which he would refuse to enforce or defend.

While we agree with his stance on many issues, we disagree that the state's highest law-enforcement office should be a bully pulpit, which is a role more suited to offices like the governor's. For example, when Attorney General Tom Corbett's pursuit of players in the Bonusgate scandal focused on Democratic suspects, some questioned whether his investigations were politically motivated.

That's territory that an attorney general should avoid.

Kane, who has an impressive endorsement from Bill Clinton, has served as prosecutor in Lackawanna County for more than a decade. She specialized in sexual-abuse cases, public corruption and fraud cases, as well as murders, assaults and rapes. She makes her case that prosecutions should not be colored by political ambitions, and vows to prosecute crime regardless of political party. Her familiarity with the state's court system will help. In fact, her focus on "crime" instead of "issues" won us over. She would push for more transparency in the chemicals used in fracking, and recognizes the perils confronting the state's consumers, which get more complicated by the day.

In Pennsylvania, the attorney general's post has been a springboard to higher office. We find Kane's single-minded focus on being a prosecutor encouraging. We also think this is a state with a paucity of women in higher office, and her victory could encourage other candidates to begin to even out the balance.