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Patrick Murphy to Run for Pennsylvania AG

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R) will avoid another rematch with former Rep. Patrick Murphy in the southeastern Pennsylvania 8th district.

Murphy, a two-term Democrat who lost re-election to Fitzpatrick last year, announced Wednesday morning that he is running for state attorney general in 2012.

“Working families across the state are struggling. They deserve an Attorney General who will stand up for them. That means rooting out corruption and fighting against powerful special interests to protect hard-working taxpayers,” Murphy said in a statement. “As an Iraq war veteran, I prosecuted terrorists bent on killing Americans. I won’t back down from the challenges that face our Commonwealth.”

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) has openly encouraged many of his former colleagues who lost their House seats last cycle to run again. Although Murphy had recently kept mum about a comeback bid, there was enough concern he would challenge Fitzpatrick again that the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a press release last month attacking him.

But Murphy has some support within Congress colleagues for his statewide bid. His campaign announcement included endorsements and written praise from Pennsylvania Democratic Reps. Chaka Fattah and Tim Holden.

Murphy and Fitzpatrick have faced off twice in the 8th district. In 2006, Murphy emerged from a contentious primary and then defeated Fitzpatrick, who at the time had held the seat for only a single term. In 2010, Fitzpatrick came back and ran for his former seat and defeated Murphy.

The same consulting team who advised Murphy on his Congressional bids will assist his campaign for state attorney general: Jef Pollock of Global Strategy Group will do polling, Pete Giangreco of the Strategy Group will do direct mail and SKDKnickerbocker will do his media.

Murphy’s campaign manager for his most recent House race, Tim Persico, will manage his bid for statewide office.