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McSwain Back to Duane Morris After Failed Pennsylvania GOP Run

May 18, 2022, 9:15 PM

Bill McSwain is reutrning to Big Law firm Duane Morris full-time after finishing a distant third in Tuesday’s Republican primary race for Pennsylvania governor.

McSwain won 15.7% of the vote, according to the Associated Press, trailing state lawmaker Douglas Mastriano (44.2%) and former US Rep. Lou Barletta (20.2%) with almost 97% of the votes counted.

McSwain’s campaign took a hit in April when he was lambasted by former President Donald Trump, who nominated McSwain for U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia in 2017. Trump, who later backed Mastriano, said last month that McSwain “did absolutely nothing” to help him overturn the 2020 White House election.

“It was there for the taking and he failed so badly,” said Trump, who has claimed without evidence that he won the election. The former president also called McSwain a “coward.”

McSwain will resume work for Duane Morris in its Philadelphia office, according to Matthew Taylor, the firm’s chief executive officer. He will work on white collar, government and corporate investigation matters, Taylor said.

“Bill has been one of several important additions to our white collar practice recently and we expect to add more talent in the near term,” Taylor said.

More than a dozen Duane Morris lawyers donated to McSwain’s campaign, including Taylor, who donated $5,000.

Some Duane Morris partners bristled over a letter that McSwain penned to Trump shortly after the 2020 election and the firm’s response when Trump made the letter public, according to the American Lawyer. McSwain sought Trump’s endorsement in the letter and claimed he had been blocked by then-US Attorney General William Barr from investigating allegations of “election fraud and voter irregularities.”

Taylor congratulated McSwain in a Wednesday statement for running a “very spirited primary bid,” and said the firm is “looking forward” to having him back.

Mastriano will face Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee, in the general election.

Neither McSwain nor his campaign could be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at sskolnik@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com