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At Pennsylvania Society, jockeying for the 2024 race for state attorney general gets going

Two of the last three elected attorney generals in Pennsylvania went on to win office as governor. No wonder so many politicians are now gearing up for a 2024 run for the post.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaking during an August 2020 news conference, won the 2022 race for governor. The jockeying to replace him in 2024 starts this weekend at Pennsylvania Society in Manhattan.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaking during an August 2020 news conference, won the 2022 race for governor. The jockeying to replace him in 2024 starts this weekend at Pennsylvania Society in Manhattan.Read moreMONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer

Clout will be in Manhattan this weekend to track the machinations — and shenanigans — of the political class at work and play in the bustle of cocktail parties, fund-raisers, and black-tie dinners known as Pennsylvania Society.

One hot topic: Who runs for state attorney general in 2024?

It’s a prime political post — big public platform, plenty of power — and two of the last three elected attorneys general won races for governor, Tom Corbett in 2010 and Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro this year.

Clout this week heard of a dozen potential candidates, six each for Democrats and Republicans.

Two were contenders in statewide races this year.

Bill McSwain, the former U.S. attorney in Philadelphia who finished third in the Republican primary for governor, is being courted to run and could capitalize on the name recognition he gained with voters in that race.

U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, the Allegheny County Democrat who finished second in the primary for U.S. Senate, could do the same. Lamb, who is leaving office for a job at the powerhouse law firm Kline & Specter, tweeted last week: “I hope to return to public service one day, perhaps soon.”

Two more potential candidates have big-time roles next month as the state Senate holds an impeachment trial for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

State Rep. Craig Williams, a Republican who represents parts of Delaware and Chester Counties, said his immediate focus is on serving as a House manager for the impeachment. But he is in discussions about a run for attorney general.

State Rep. Jared Solomon, a Philadelphia Democrat serving as a House manager to make sure Krasner gets a fair trial, is also said to be mulling a run.

One potential candidate, Keir Bradford-Grey of Philadelphia, has the head start after stepping down as the city’s chief public defender in March. As Clout told you at the time, she had her first fund-raiser in April. A source close to Bradford-Grey said Philadelphia Democratic Party Chair Bob Brady has been encouraging her to run.

Brady said Bradford-Grey and former state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale are the only potential candidates who have asked for his support so far.

DePasquale, who moved home to Allegheny County and is now teaching at the University of Pittsburgh, said, “I am absolutely considering” a run. He served two terms as auditor general and lost a 2020 bid for a central Pennsylvania seat in the U.S. House.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, a Democrat, is seeking a second term next year but is considered a potential contender as attorney general.

Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan, who finished second in Philadelphia’s 2017 Democratic primary for district attorney, is also said to be considering the race.

Rounding out the field for the Republicans: Scott Brady, the former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania; State Rep. Natalie Mihalek of Allegheny County; York County District Attorney David Sunday; and Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli.

But first: Shapiro will step down as attorney general next month to be sworn in as governor. First Deputy Attorney General Michelle Henry, a former Bucks County prosecutor, will become acting attorney general.

Shapiro will then nominate someone to complete his term. That person must be confirmed by the state Senate. By tradition, an appointed attorney general agrees not to run for the post in the next election.

McCormick’s packed PA Society schedule

David McCormick, the former hedge fund CEO who finished second to Mehmet Oz by fewer than 1,000 votes in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, is hitting all the top parties and events at Pennsylvania Society this weekend.

He’s a busy guy. Axios reported this week that McCormick has a book coming out in March: Superpower in Peril: A Battle Plan to Renew America.

Sounds like a prelude to a plan to challenge Sen. Bob Casey, a Scranton Democrat expected to seek a fourth term in 2024.

That would be an altogether different kind of race than 2022, which was a scramble for the seat opened by Sen. Pat Toomey’s retirement.

Casey has tremendous brand recognition in Pennsylvania as the son of a former governor. He defeated his 2018 Republican challenger, former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta of Hazleton, by more than 13 points.

But McCormick, who spent $14.4 million of his own money on the primary, has the very deep pockets for another run.

Quotable Vs. Quotable

Club lost all credibility when they put $2M behind a fake, racist candidate, Kathy Barnette. They lost all respect.”

Carla Sands, who finished fourth in the seven-candidate Republican primary for U.S. Senate, complaining in a Nov. 14 tweet about the conservative Club for Growth backing Kathy Barnette, who finished third. Sands is white. Barnette is Black.

This is why Republicans lost. We don’t have a message EXCEPT vitriol.”

— Barnette, returning fire this week in an email to supporters, urging them to contact Sands on Twitter about the “unprovoked attack.”

Clout wants your PA Society tips!

Pennsylvania Society first kicked off in 1899 by New York business barons with interests in the Keystone State’s coal, oil, steel, and railroads.

Clout didn’t attend that year. But we’ve got team coverage planned for this weekend. Send your hot gossip, shenanigan sightings, and other juicy tips to Chris Brennan (, Anna Orso (, and Sean Collins Walsh (

Clout provides often irreverent news and analysis about people, power, and politics.