Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner defeated Republican challenger Chuck Perrotto to secure a second term as the city’s top attorney general, according to the Associated Press.
Krasner, a longtime civil rights attorney and progressive reformer, would have strongly preferred heading into Tuesday’s election. He will now have four more years to work on lasting solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in Philadelphia and continue to address systemic problems in the criminal justice system.
Perotto, a former Democrat and prominent Philadelphia defense attorney, had waged a long campaign that attempted to take advantage of the city’s caution against Krasner as a capable advocate for public safety. Although he voted for Krasner in 2017, Pierrotto has been eager to take on him this year in response to widespread resentment of violent crime that has gone unchecked.
The Associated Press called the race in favor of Krasner with about 55% of the vote. Krasner had already garnered an insurmountable lead, receiving 80,257 votes to Peruto’s 32,389.
- Lawyer Race in Philadelphia
- Larry Krasner: 80,257 votes (71.25%)
- Chuck Perrotto: 32,389 votes (28.75%)
- 942 of 1,703 reporting areas
Four years earlier, Krasner’s election in Philadelphia triggered a wave of progressive district attorneys who championed reformist agendas in cities across the United States. Krasner moved to the Democratic nomination again in May when he defeated rival Carlos Vega, securing more than 66 percent of the vote in a controversial but low-turnout primary.
The unbalanced math of the Philadelphia Democrats’ 7-to-1 voting rule made Tuesday’s election largely a foregone conclusion, even if many of the questions surrounding Krasner remain untouched. The last Republican to hold the office of Philadelphia District Attorney was Ronald de Castel, who resigned during his second term in 1991 to run for mayor.
Krasner, 60, has consistently faced criticism for the rise in shootings and killings in Philadelphia during his first term. This trend has accelerated since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The city recorded 499 murders in 2020, up from 356 the year before, and actually reached 460 murders in 2021. The Police Department has reported more than 3,300 shootings and 1,800 shooting victims this year, both of which surpassed alarming statistics last year. .
“We’re in a terrible phase right now, just like the rest of the country,” Krasner said. Fox 29 before the election on Tuesday. “But I think we’re starting to see results now. I think it validates what the criminologists have said, which is that this is specifically related to the epidemic and now we have to be really smart.”
Krasner’s campaign website touted a number of accomplishments during his first term, including reducing the city’s prison population by 40% — putting it at its lowest level since 1985. The campaign also noted efforts at the DA’s office to retain juvenile offenders. . than being tried as adults, and given alternative paths through restorative justice.
The attorney general’s office has received special acclaim for the work of its Conviction Integrity Unit, which helped win the acquittal of 18 people imprisoned for false convictions.
The main theme of Krasner’s first term was fairness and accountability in the criminal justice system. His office has targeted established systems and practices such as cash bail, civil asset forfeiture, and unfair prosecution for petty crimes, while aggressively pursuing charges in cases of police misconduct.
But just as Vega did in the Democratic primary, Perrotto, 66, focused almost entirely on an increase in the city’s shootings and a declining conviction rate for gun crimes during Krasner’s first term.
“This is a race for one cause. It’s public safety,” Berotto said. “It’s not about abortion. It’s not about school children’s rights. It’s not about schools and school safety.”
Peruto’s platform called for a special mix of moderate policies, expanding the power of the DA and other positions that promised to roll back Krasner’s more progressive positions. On the issue of police reform, Perotto tried to strike a balance between recognizing the need for internal change and offering assurances that law enforcement would have greater support to combat crime, backed by tough prosecutions.
Unlike Vega, Perotto didn’t get the same boost in appearances that came with the outspoken endorsement of the Philadelphia fraternal police lodge 5, the powerful anti-Krassner police union whose campaigning played a large part in making the primaries look closer than they ultimately were to Kent.
Krasner refused to discuss Perotto in the run-up to the election, claiming it was more important to do his job. Instead, the DA attempted to speak directly to the skepticism that pervades Philadelphia after a first term marked by an upsurge in violence.
“Do I take responsibility? Yes, we all do. All of us,” Krasner said before the election. “Every elected official, every person in law enforcement, and frankly, every Philadelphian has a certain level of responsibility because we all want something better. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. We want something better.”