Civil rights attorney Larry Krasner picked up a big endorsement yesterday in his bid to become Philadelphia’s next District Attorney.
In the 2015 mayor’s race, a critical boost for mayoral candidate Jim Kenney’s successful campaign was the endorsement of a group of African American leaders from Northwest Philadelphia. Their backing of a white candidate in a city with a history of racial voting patterns was seen as pivotal to his victory.
Many of those same black leaders announced their backing for Krasner in the seven-way Democratic primary at a Monday news conference in front of the District Attorney’s office.
Former City Councilwoman Marian Tasco, said she likes Krasner’s record of standing for fairness.
“Prosecutions have to be fair, and that’s his mantra,” Tasco said at the new conference. “Some people will have to go away [to jail], but they will have a fair shot.”
Tasco is Democratic leader of the high-performing 50th ward. Also supporting Krasner are State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, leader of the similarly-potent 10th ward, and Elaine Tomlin, leader of the 42nd ward.
Some leaders who backed Kenney were not at the event, including City Councilwoman Cindy Bass whose district covers a big swath of Northwest Philadelphia.
But Tasco said she’s confident the endorsement will matter.
“I think our endorsement is going to open up people’s minds to being open to supporting Larry,” Tasco said.Krasner, who said he was pleased and humbled by the support, has a few reasons to smile these days.
A political committee supported by liberal billionaire George Soros is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an independent advertising campaign in support of Krasner.
I asked Krasner if he’d seen their ad, and he said yes, once.
“I don’t know what its impact will be,” he said. “As you know I’m not permitted to participate in any way, but I’m hopeful that the message that we are looking for transformational change will come though.”
Because the Soros committee, called Philadelphia Safety and Justice is waging an independent expenditure campaign, it is not allowed to coordinate its activities with Krasner or its campaign.
Both the Soros committee and a union-backed super PAC supporting candidate Jack O’Neill will have to reveal information about their donors and spending in reports this Friday, May 5.