Former Delco DA Copeland joins GOP attorney general race

York County District Attorney Dave Sunday is also seeking the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania AG.

By: - November 21, 2023 6:38 pm

(Kat Copeland campaign photo)

Kat Copeland, former Delaware County District Attorney, launched her campaign for Pennsylvania Attorney General this week, the second Republican to join the race.

“As Attorney General, I am going to put my experience to work every day to protect Pennsylvanians and their families,” Copeland said in a press release. “I’m going to prioritize and provide safety and security to our families in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools. I’m going to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who tries to sell drugs in our state — there will be zero tolerance for those who peddle deadly heroin and fentanyl into our communities.”

Copeland joins York County District Attorney Dave Sunday in the race for the GOP nomination. Sunday is being backed by the Republican Attorneys General Association and Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity. State Rep. Craig Williams (R-Delaware) is also reportedly eyeing a run for the position.

Current Attorney General Michele Henry is not seeking reelection. She was appointed by Gov. Josh Shapiro to finish out his term when he was elected governor. In 2020, Shapiro secured a second term as AG by defeating Republican challenger Heather Heidelbaugh by 4.6 points, the largest margin of victory for the statewide row office races that year in Pennsylvania. 

Former Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, state Rep. Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia), former Bucks County solicitor and federal prosecutor Joe Khan, and former Philadelphia Chief Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey are all seeking the Democratic Party nomination for Attorney General. 

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, who defeated Copeland in the 2019 race for Delaware County District, is also reportedly considering a run for the Democratic Party nomination. 

Copeland said as the daughter of a 92-year-old mother, she understands the dangers that senior citizens face, from physical abuse and neglect to elaborate scams.

“I’m going to investigate and prosecute anyone who preys upon our seniors,” Copeland said. “And unlike previous Attorneys General, I will stand up to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and prosecute anyone who commits a gun crime or trafficks guns in Philadelphia.”

Copeland, who is currently of counsel to Lamb McErlane PC, served as an intern and then an Assistant District Attorney under former Delaware County District Attorney Bill Ryan and was assigned to the trial division. In 2000, she became the first woman to lead the Delaware County Drug Task Force Unit. 

In 2011, Copeland joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In 2018, she was appointed Delaware County District Attorney after District Attorney Jack Whelan was elected to the Common Pleas Court, however, she lost her bid for a full term to Democrat Jack Stollsteimer in 2019. 


After her tenure as Delaware County District Attorney, Copeland rejoined the U.S. Attorney’s Office as the Chief of the Criminal Division for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

“The Office of Attorney General is a powerful and important office,” stated Copeland. “I have a plan to move the office forward, defend the Constitution and protect Pennsylvania families.”

Copeland was born in Upper Darby, Delaware County, the daughter of an Iranian mother and American father. She spent part of her childhood in Iran from 1973-1980. Her father was an employee of Westinghouse and after the Iranian Revolution, he was arrested on espionage charges and became the first American put on trial in Iran’s Revolutionary Court. He was later released, after her mother — who was not a lawyer— defended him in court, Copeland said in a 2018 news article.

Copeland credits her family’s experience as the reason she pursued a career as a prosecutor to ensure “those who are prosecuted are justly prosecuted and have a fair trial.”

The Pennsylvania Republican Party did not endorse a candidate for attorney general at its most recent meeting, making it the only race where it has not formally backed a candidate in 2024. At its meeting, the state GOP announced its support for Dave McCormick for U.S. Senate, while endorsing Treasurer Stacy Garrity and Auditor General Tim DeFoor for a second term.


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John Cole
John Cole

John Cole is a journalist based in Philadelphia. He's worked for various outlets such as The Northeast Times, PoliticsPA, and PCN. In these previous roles, he covered a wide range of topics from local civic association meetings to races across the commonwealth. He earned a degree in journalism from Temple University.