Jeff Bartos, a Main Line Republican running against Sen. Bob Casey, has called on Casey to denounce Philly’s Democratic district attorney nominee.
In a recently posted campaign video, the GOP candidate attempts to tie Casey to DA candidate Larry Krasner — whom he calls a “radical leftist.”
“Philadelphia Democrats nominated radical leftist Larry Krasner as their candidate for district attorney,” Bartos says in the campaign video. “Krasner isn’t your ordinary Democrat – he’s a radical, backed by George Soros’s millions.”
Bartos, a 44-year-old real estate executive from Lower Merion Township, goes on to criticize Krasner’s platform and history as a civil rights attorney.
One part of his ad is incredibly misleading, though — he says Krasner “supports letting criminals go free if they can’t make bail,” which isn’t true. Krasner wants to move toward eliminating cash bail, which he says “does not mean that all offenders are released regardless of their criminal records, history of bench warrants, and severity of their charges.” Krasner points to Washington D.C.’s model, which determines via a “points system” whether a defendant should be released before their trial, as a successful way to do this.
Krasner functioned as a progressive firebrand during the election. He tapped into a national support base (including backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders) and beat out six other Democrats who vied for their party’s nomination in a DA race that was hailed as a major win for progressives.
Bartos calls himself a “businessman and conservative political outsider running to restore the American Dream,” though he’s embedded in politics — he’s a fund-raiser and board member at a political committee run by the state’s Republican national committeeman. He’s one of four Republicans itching to take Casey’s spot in the 2018 election, in what’s likely an effort to appeal to Pa. Trump supporters in wake of the election.
Apparently for Bartos, that means pinning the left against the left.
“Instead of standing up for victims of crime, Bob Casey stands with the far left and blindly supports his parties nominee,” Bartos says in the campaign video, referring to Krasner. “That’s just wrong.”
Despite Bartos’s accusation, Casey hasn’t endorsed Krasner or even commented on his campaign. Max Steele, a spokesman for the Pa. Democratic Party, said Casey “hopes Democratic candidates are successful up and down the ballot” but “typically doesn’t endorse candidates in local races and doesn’t have any plans to at this time.”
“Jeff Bartos is resorting to these silly attacks because he’s trapped in a clown car primary and is desperate for attention,” Steele said.
This story has been updated to include comment from Casey’s campaign team.
Holly Otterbein contributed to this report.
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