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Tom Corbett


Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 18, 2005[1]
Preceded by Jerry Pappert

In office
October 3, 1995[2] – January 22, 1997[3]
Preceded by Ernie Preate
Succeeded by Mike Fisher

Born 1949
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan Manbeck Corbett
Alma mater St. Mary's University Law School
Lebanon Valley College
Profession Captain in Pennsylvania National Guard, Lawyer
Signature

Tom Corbett (born 1949) is the current Attorney General of the state of Pennsylvania, United States, elected in 2004 and reelected in 2008.[4] He is a member of the Republican Party. Corbett also served as the Pennsylvania Attorney General from 1995 until 1997 when he was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to fill the unexpired term of Ernie Preate.

Corbett has announced his candidacy for the 2010 Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Election. He is widely seen as the front runner for the Republican nomination and has strong leads in aggregate polling against potential Democratic challengers.[5][6][7]

Contents

Biography

Corbett received his Bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College and his J.D. from St. Mary's University Law School. He served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division from 1971 to 1984, rising to the rank of captain.

Corbett's career has been split between private practice and civil service. He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. After three and a half years, he was hired in 1980 as assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

In 1983, Corbett went into private practice for several years. During this period, Corbett won his first election as a township commissioner in Shaler Township, Pennsylvania.

He re-entered the public arena in 1988 when a judge appointed him to monitor the Allegheny County jail while it was under the court's supervision. Not long afterwards, President George H. W. Bush appointed him to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, a role in which he would serve until August 1993.

Following his resignation as US Attorney, Corbett returned to private practice, also serving as an advisor to the gubernatorial campaign of Tom Ridge. Following Ridge's victory, Corbett served on a number of state commissions including the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which he served as chairman.

In 1995, Corbett was appointed to the position of State Attorney General by Governor Ridge to fill the remainder of the term left by the conviction of Ernest Preate. As a condition of his Senate confirmation, Senate Democrats required him to pledge that he would not run for re-election in 1996. This is a common practice in Pennsylvania for appointments to elected offices. Jerry Pappert made the same pledge in 2003 when he succeeded Mike Fisher as State Attorney General.

Corbett left office in 1997 and again went into the private sector, first as general counsel for Waste Management, then opening his own practice.

Corbett also served as a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard from 1971 until 1984, having achieved the rank of captain.

Corbett is married; he and his wife Susan have two children, Tom and Katherine.

2004 Attorney General election

The race began with Corbett, Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor, and Joe Peters fighting for the Republican party endorsement. With Corbett from western Pennsylvania, Castor from the southeast, and Peters from the northeast, it was initially expected that endorsement votes would follow geographic lines. However, four of the five southeastern county chairmen came out in support of Corbett with Castor taking only Montgomery County.

Furious that he had lost party endorsements, Castor lashed out at the county chairman with accusations of backroom deals with Bob Asher, the state's national GOP committeeman and a convicted felon connected to Budd Dwyer. During the campaign, Castor launched attack ads against Corbett for his prior employment at Waste Management, and the financial support he received from Asher. Corbett's campaign responded with advertisements critical of Castor's acceptance of $625,000 in contributions from Drew Lewis after Lewis was convicted of DUI but permitted to serve his sentence at an upscale rehab facility in New England.

Corbett held on to large majorities in Western Pennsylvania including 82% in his base of Allegheny County, [8] while Castor prevailed in the Southeast with almost a similar margin. Ultimately, Corbett won the race with 52.8% of the vote. [9] Castor subsequently announced his support of Corbett in the general election against Democrat Jim Eisenhower.

The General election was not as contentious as it was close. After early returns were reported, the Associated Press called the race in Eisenhower's favor, only to retract that call later as the numbers closed. Corbett declared victory the following morning, having defeated Eisenhower by nearly 110,000 votes, winning 50.4% to 48.3%. Green party candidate Marakay Rogers captured 1.3% of the vote.

General Election Results, 2004
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Tom Corbett 2,730,718 50.4%
Democratic Jim Eisenhower 2,621,927 48.3%
Green Marakay J. Rogers 70,624 1.3%

2008 Re-Election Campaign

Corbett was re-elected in 2008. He defeated Democrat John Morganelli, bucking the trend of Democratic success in Pennsylvania that year.

General Election Results, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Tom Corbett 52.36
Democratic John Morganelli 45.84
Libertarian Marakay J. Rogers 1.89
Majority
Turnout

2010 Gubernatorial Bid

On March 17 2009, it was reported that Corbett had formed an exploratory committee and had begun filing the paperwork necessary to begin a run for Governor of Pennsylvania. On September 15, Corbett formally declared his candidacy.[10] He is widely considered to be the Republican front-runner and leads his potential Democratic opponents by double digits in recent polling.[11][12]

Footnotes

References

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jerry Pappert
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
2005 - present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ernie Preate
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
1995 - 1997
Succeeded by
Mike Fisher
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