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Trump’s ex-federal attorney joins GOP governor’s primary

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) Bill McSwain, Philadelphia’s top federal prosecutor under former President Donald Trump, will run for governor of Pennsylvania, he announced Monday, joining a crowded Republican field that may still s ‘enlarge.

McSwains announced his first run for public office came as no surprise.

He had written to Trump in July, seeking the approval of the former president for the governorship and, before that, had told party figures for months that he intended to run.

In a campaign video, McSwain took on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolfs in the face of the pandemic, saying we will not have forced closures or state dictates and that the Republican notes sounded familiar on cultural war issues, tax reduction and law and order.

He relied heavily on his law enforcement and service background in the United States Marine Corps.

I will fight with all the commitment I have learned as a Marine and a prosecutor to restore law and order, freedom and economic opportunity, he said.

McSwain, 52, lives in Chester County and returned to practicing private law after more than three years as a United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which includes Philadelphia. He was also for several years Assistant United States Attorney in Philadelphia when George W. Bush was President.

He has also worked for two major Philadelphia-based law firms, Drinker Biddle & Reath and, currently, Duane Morris and is a graduate of Yale and Harvard.

McSwain tried to argue that he was in the best position to beat the Democrats’ likely candidate, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Its supporters like to point out that Republicans in Pennsylvania have a tradition of nominating gubernatorial candidates who are former prosecutors, including three Dick Thornburgh, Tom Ridge and Tom Corbett who were elected.

However, he will first have to cross Republican terrain, which includes former US Representative Lou Barletta, the former four-term congressman who was the party’s candidate for the US Senate in 2018, and Charlie Gerow, who heads a communication and marketing company. in Harrisburg and is vice president of the American Conservative Union.

Several senators from the Republican state have also considered running.

As an American lawyer, McSwain fought against the Philadelphia Democrats over law enforcement policy, including successfully going to court to fight plans to open a site for drug injection under medical supervision.

McSwain comes out of an episode in July where Trump speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas said he had a letter from McSwain saying Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr would not let McSwain investigate on electoral fraud during the presidential election last November.

McSwains’ letter said he was instructed to forward the serious allegations to the state attorney general for investigation.

Barr denied to the Philadelphia Inquirer that he ordered McSwain not to investigate the election fraud allegations, and said McSwain did not pretend to be favoring Trump.

Shapiros ‘office, at the time, said they had a close working relationship with the United States Attorneys Office and had not heard of any concerns from McSwain or received a direct referral from McSwains’ office.

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Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter.

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