Governor-elect Tom Corbett’s political career received a boost in 1995, when he was appointed Pennsylvania Attorney General by then Governor Tom Ridge.
Now, Corbett will need to select someone to finish out his term as A-G.
Corbett has to hope the appointment process for his replacement goes more smoothly than the confirmation battle he faced 15 years ago.
Senate Democrats held up Corbett’s appointment for three months, questioning his independence from Ridge because Corbett had campaigned for him.
The main political hurdle facing Corbett’s choice is the ongoing legislative corruption investigation, according to political scientist Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College.
"Whoever gets dropped into this particular position by Governor-elect Corbett will be in the midst of leading a major corruption investigation with the Bonusgate trials. So it’s simply going to be putting someone into the spotlight, because they’re going to carry on the work that Corbett’s done earlier."
Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley says the Republican will step down as Attorney General on January 18.
"Governor Corbett will then nominate his replacement, who then needs to be confirmed by 2/3 of the Senate. Once that happens, that person becomes Attorney General. And traditionally, although it’s not required by law, they will not run for a full term. That’s usually a gentleman’s agreement with the Senate."
Chief Deputy Attorney General Bill Ryan will serve as Acting A-G until the replacement is confirmed by two-thirds of the Senate.