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Former assistant DA joins Philly race as Republican

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 Beth Grossman, a Republican, announces her candidacy for Philadelphia district attorney in front of a pawn shop on Kensington Avenue. The storefront near the Allegheny SEPTA station is the same location where her parents ran a candy shop years ago.  (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

Beth Grossman, a Republican, announces her candidacy for Philadelphia district attorney in front of a pawn shop on Kensington Avenue. The storefront near the Allegheny SEPTA station is the same location where her parents ran a candy shop years ago. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

A former assistant district attorney now wants to take over the top slot in Philadelphia. 

Beth Grossman, who said too many Democrats have top city government posts, will run as a Republican as a way to offer some balance.

“Common sense tells us it is far too much power in too few hands for far too long,” she said. “Even people who come to office meaning well can fall victims to temptations with such unchallenged power.”

Grossman ran the the district attorney’s office controversial civil forfeiture unit, which was in charge of seizing properties  connected to drug transactions. 

She defended the work she did there.

“That unit focused with dealing with drug properties that are lowering property values on a street, creating public safety issues for children who have to walk to school every day going past those doors and dangerous bars where people were shooting each other and doing drugs,” she said.

In several instances the confiscations put people out on the street who were never charged.  Under the pressure of lawsuits, the office promised to stop evicting people from their homes at least until the matter went before a judge.  

Beth Grossman won’t say if she voted for Donald Trump, but her campaign will go after those who did support the president-elect as well as bringing in people dissatisfied with how the city is being run by Democrats.

“I am a Philadelphia Republican,” she said. “My focus for my entire legal career has been on Philadelphia, and as a Philadelphia Republican what I can say first and foremost is that I am a Philadelphian.”

Grossman said she has switched parties a few times over the past several years.

“I actually changed parties in 2013, and I switched back because many of my colleagues in the primary of 2015 from the DA’s office were running as judicial candidates,” she said.

Grossman said she registered again as a Republican in May. 

Current District Attorney Seth Williams, who also defends the home seizures, is running for re-election. So far, four challengers have lined up for the Democratic nomination  in the May 16 primary.

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