Former Pennsylvania Governor and former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell has endorsed attorney Joe Khan for Philadelphia District Attorney.
Khan, a former prosecutor in the Philadelphia DA’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office, was the first to enter the race, announcing his candidacy last September.
Though Rendell left public office in January 2011, he remains a popular figure in the region and one with influence among political contributors.
As a former DA, mayor and governor, Rendell said Khan has the will to be a good district attorney at a time when Philadelphia needs one.
“I thought he was exactly the right balance of what we need,” Rendell said. “Someone who understand that serious violent criminals have to be prosecuted effectively, we have to deal with them in a tough way that gets them off the streets and protects our citizens but he also understands the need for continued reform of the criminal justice system.
Khan said he was grateful for the backing from someone who has won so many elections.
“I think a lot more people are going to know who Joe Kahn is after receiving the support of a two-term district attorney who is legendary in this city and whose name is synonymous with public service,” he said.
There are seven Democrats in the May party primary.
Incumbent Seth Williams has withdrawn from the race and is now under indictment on federal corruption charges. He’s also refusing to step down despite having a suspended law license.
Khan has managed to raise $506,000 for his bid, a figure that includes a $54,000 personal loan to his campaign and $12,000 in contributions from his parents.
Khan is second only to former prosecutor, now real estate developer Michael Untermeyer in fundraising. Untermeyer has raised $713,000, most of it in personal loans to his campaign.
Khan has called a noon news conference at city hall to announce the endorsement.