When politicians decide to seek a new elected office, the first step is often to quietly pass the word of one's interest in a position. This is to make others think twice before declaring similar interest, and to seek support, or at least neutrality, from all the players. Here's what I've been hearing about three noteworthy Pennsylvania politicians:

Patrick Murphy from Bucks County was first elected to Congress in the 2006 Democratic surge, upsetting Republican Mike Fitzpatrick, and becoming the first Iraq war veteran in Congress. In 2007, Murphy was one of the earliest elected officials to declare his support for Barack Obama for President, and campaigned with and for Obama in Iowa. Re-elected in 2008 with Obama heading the ticket, Murphy was turned out by Mike Fitzpatrick in the Republican landslide of 2010.

I've heard that Murphy, who is a graduate of Widener Law School, would like to run for Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2012, to succeed Linda Kelly who was appointed by former Attorney General Tom Corbett upon his recent inauguration as Governor. Linda Kelly has announced she will not seek election to a full term in 2012, so the position will be open. 

Personally, I admire Patrick Murphy.  He has proven his toughness on the campaign trail.  He's well-qualified.  I hope he continues in public service and makes the race for AG.

I've also heard that Dan Onorato, the Chief Executive of Allegheny County and unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 2010, would like to succeed Jack Wagner as Pennsylvania Auditor General in the 2012 election. Onorato defeated Wagner in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Wagner has not yet announced his plans for 2012. Onorato is both a lawyer and an accountant.

And I've heard that Alan Butkovitz, City Controller of Philadelphia, is thinking about running for Mayor in 2015, to succeed Mayor Michael Nutter who is currently running for a second four-year term without serious opposition. Mayor Nutter will not be able to succeed himself in 2015, so the position will be open. What city controller has ever watched a mayor and not thought, "I could do that!" Butkovitz is a former state legislator and a graduate of Temple Law School.