The Biggest Winners and Losers in Philadelphia’s 2017 Primary Election

Clockwise: Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif, Democratic district attorney nominee Larry Krasner, Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police chief John McNesby, labor leader John Dougherty, City Controller Alan Butkovitz, ward leader Marian Tasco, and protesters at Philadelphia’s Women March.

Philadelphia’s election on Tuesday was a game-changer. The winner of the Democratic primary for district attorney is a criminal defense lawyer who has never prosecuted a case in his life and made a name for himself by suing law enforcement over alleged abuses and representing progressive activists like Black Lives Matter. A young ex-budget director crushed incumbent City Controller Alan Butkovitz, the ultimate political insider, in an upset victory.

Those two Democratic nominees, Larry Krasner and Rebecca Rhynhart, are the race’s biggest winners. But who are the other winners and losers — the issues, interest groups, and kingmakers — in the election? Here’s our list: Read more »

“Stop Lighting Money on Fire”: DA Nominee Larry Krasner on His Plans for the Office

Criminal defense attorney Larry Krasner. | Photo courtesy of Krasner’s campaign

Democratic district attorney candidate Larry Krasner, whose progressive platform inspired the highest Philadelphia voter turnout for a DA primary since 2001 and earned him a nod from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, laid out his vision for the future of the DA’s office on Wednesday. Read more »

Bernie Sanders Is Very, Very Happy About Larry Krasner’s Win

R: (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) | L: Photo courtesy of Lawrence Krasner for District Attorney

Philly progressives have been on cloud nine since the city chose civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner as its Democratic district attorney candidate.

Apparently, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been too. Today, Sanders congratulated Krasner on his win.

“At a time when Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions is pushing the Department of Justice to restart the failed ‘War on Drugs,’ it is refreshing to see voters choose a prosecutor who wants to treat addiction as an illness, not a crime, and move to end mass incarceration,” Sanders said, according to The Huffington Post. “Krasner’s primary victory is an important step forward in the fight to reform a very broken criminal justice system.”

The congratulations shouldn’t come as a major surprise – Krasner was backed by Our Revolution, a political organization with strong ties to Sanders. The Philly DA candidate likely drew primary support from many of the same people who voted for Sanders in the presidential election.

In fact, Krasner recently said he believes that had Sanders won the Democratic nominee last year, Donald Trump would probably not be our president.

It’s interesting, considering the Trump resistance was likely one of many factors that pushed Krasner’s anti-death penalty, anti-cash bail campaign to success.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

Progressive Firebrand Larry Krasner Wins District Attorney Primary

Larry Krasner | Photo courtesy of Krasner’s campaign

Democrat Larry Krasner, a firebrand criminal defense attorney who has never worked a day in his life as a prosecutor, won the district attorney primary Tuesday night. With 90 percent of precincts reporting, he captured 37.5 percent of the vote in a seven-candidate race. Read more »

Lemme Guess: You’re Not Voting Today. What Is Wrong With You?

Good morning, Philadelphia. It’s officially Primary Day, in case you’ve been wondering why all of your favorite TV shows have been bookended by PAC-funded political advertisements for the last few weeks. The polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., but that probably doesn’t make the tiniest bit of difference to you. If you’re like most Philadelphians, you have absolutely no intention of showing up to vote. But I would like you to reconsider that wrong-thinking, or perhaps nonthinking, decision. Read more »

Everything You Need to Know to Vote in the 2017 Philadelphia Primary

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Good morning and happy Election Day, Philly! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The city will likely pick its next district attorney today. (Yes, there will be a general election this fall, but the Republican candidate will face an uphill battle because of the Democratic Party’s 7-to-1 voter registration edge.) The choice is critical: It’s the DA’s job to prosecute crimes in Philadelphia, meaning he or she plays a major role in determining whether victims get justice, how many people go to prison every year, and if citizens trust law enforcement. Currently, Philadelphians have a lot of reasons not to have faith in the DA’s office: District Attorney Seth Williams has been indicted for allegedly seeking bribes and stealing from his own mother.

There are other important races on the ballot, too, including for city controller, judges and election board worker. Plus, there are two ballot questions to answer. If you haven’t heard of any of the candidates, or don’t know where your polling place is located, don’t worry! There’s still time to learn. Here’s everything you need to know to vote today: Read more »

WATCH: Philly DA Candidate Larry Krasner Attempts to Rock The Clash’s “Clampdown”

As the Pa. Primary nears (it’s tomorrow, people – check out our guide) you’re probably seeing more and more of the Philadelphia district attorney candidates – on flyers, TV, social media, etc. But we can guarantee you haven’t seen one candidate like this.

Democrat Larry Krasner (who has no shortage of ads, thanks to a major funding boost from a George Soros-tied super PAC), performed with Philly punk band SHEER MAG at the First Unitarian Church this past Friday, May 13th.

Philly photographer Scott Troyan filmed Krasner on stage, clad in a white dress shirt and tie, somewhat awkwardly covering The Clash’s “Clampdown” with SHEER MAG’s Tina Halladay.

Maybe the performance will bring some Philly punks to the polls – or maybe not. Who knows. It wasn’t quite as enthusiastic (or memorable) as former Mayor Michael Nutter’s mic-dropping stint with the Roots in 2015 – but it’s entertaining to watch, nonetheless.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

The No-Bullshit Guide to the 2017 Philadelphia Primary

Clockwise: District attorney candidates Larry Krasner, Joe Khan, Rich Negrin, Teresa Carr Deni, Jack O’Neill, Tariq El-Shabazz, Beth Grossman and Michael Untermeyer. | Photos courtesy of the campaigns

Do you loathe that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doubling down on the War on Drugs? Are you glad he’s finally restoring law and order to the country? Do you think the city spends too much money locking people up? Just enough? Too little? If you answered affirmatively to any of these questions, then you should vote in this year’s district attorney race. The DA prosecutes crimes in Philadelphia, helping to determine whether justice is delivered to victims and how many people end up in prison every year. The choice in front of voters is as important as ever: Current District Attorney Seth Williams has been accused by the feds of seeking thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes and stealing from his own mom.

Voters will also choose Philadelphia’s next city controller, judges, and election board workers on Tuesday, as well as vote on two ballot questions.

Don’t worry if you haven’t paid close attention to these races — it’s why we created this election guide and an accompanying list of endorsements for each candidate in the district attorney race. It’s a ruthlessly honest, easy-to-understand explanation of the candidates’ pros and cons. Here are your choices. Read more »

Endorsements in the Philly District Attorney Primary

Clockwise from top left: Michael Untermeyer for District Attorney Campaign; Annmarie Young; Citizens for Rich Negrin Campaign; Josh Pelta-Heller/Koala Photography; Krasner: Nick Kelsh; Zakiyah Caldwell; Erskine Isaac/Invision Photo; Map: Istockphoto

The Pennsylvania primary is just about here. Endorsements can influence elections and reveal a lot about candidates, so we’ve compiled an ongoing list of who supports whom in the race for Philadelphia’s district attorney. It’s not necessarily exhaustive, but it does contain key players. Read more »

DA Seth Williams Indicted on Additional Corruption Charges

Seth Williams at a February 10, 2017, press conference. Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was first indicted on 23 corruption charges in March – and just yesterday, prosecutors added additional fraud charges, bringing the total count to 29.

Federal authorities allege that Williams, 50, used campaign funds on several personal expenditures, including more than $677 at a New Year’s Eve party in 2013; about $777 for a birthday dinner for his girlfriend in 2014; almost $900 on massages, facials, gift cards and fitness classes in 2014 and 2015; and about $2,674 for a birthday dinner for his girlfriend in 2015.  Read more »

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