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Kane Will Not Seek Second Term

SCRANTON — Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Tuesday that she will not seek a second term in office. Kane, a Scranton native, is accus...

SCRANTON -- Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Tuesday that she will not seek a second term in office.

Kane, a Scranton native, is accused of leaking secret grand jury testimony and then lying about it under oath.

"I'm honored to serve as Pennsylvania's attorney general. I believe that we've had great success," Kane said.

Kane summoned reporters to her office in Scranton and touted her office's success in fighting crime through drug raids. She talked about protecting consumers when her office helped stop energy resellers from tripling electric bills.

But Kane noted that being state attorney general is a full time job, and so is running for reelection. And the recently divorced mother of two sons says she has a more important job.

"While this was not an easy decision for me; while I love Pennsylvania, I love my sons first. I'm a mother first and foremost."

During a 15-minute news conference, Kane said nothing of her legal troubles and the perjury trial she faces this summer in Montgomery County. She says her office is running well, even though her license to practice law has been suspended.

And Kane told reporters that if she did run, she'd win.

"I am ahead of the Democratic candidates by double digits in the polls."

But on this day, Kathleen Kane says motherhood and conflicting obligations trump politics.

Kane's decision came as a surprise to some of her close friends, who were convinced the attorney general's well-known stubbornness would lead her to run for reelection.

But over the weekend, the Scranton native says she talked with her 12 and 14-year-old sons, and decided not to run.

"I'm a mother first. And if someone criticizes me for being a mother first, I think it's quite sexist, but too bad," Kane said.

During an interview at her office in Scranton, Kane said she thought seriously about another run, despite the criminal charges she faces, and despite attempts to remove her from office.

"I believe that had I run, I could win. I believe that. But my boys are more important. At the end of the day, it comes down to them."

Kane knows the seriousness of the perjury charges she faces. She denies her decision not to run is part of any plea bargain, and she predicts she'll be acquitted, get her law license back, and finish out her term.

"I am tearing down the good old boy network. I am making kids safer. I am making communities safer. That's all that's important to me right now."

As for the future, Kathleen Kane says she will take it one day at a time. She may work in private practice as a lawyer, but don't look for her to run for office again at any level.

"I don't think it's any secret that I am not a good politician. I don't like politics. I despise it. And I don't believe I am good at politics."

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld its decision to suspend her law license.

The attorney general still faces impeachment proceedings in the state house, and a criminal trial set for August in Montgomery County where she is charged with perjury.

Some area residents think Kane's decision in a good one.