It’s primary day in Pennsylvania, and the marquee race in Philadelphia is the Democratic primary for district attorney. Current District Attorney Seth Williams is under federal indictment and not running for re-election, so the office will have new leadership in January.
It also seems likely the DA’s office will be in for significant change.
Historically, DA races are dominated by “lock ’em up” rhetoric and promises to crack down on crime.
But the seven Democrats running this year are singing a different tune, talking about fairness and justice for defendants, and reversing the trend toward mass incarceration.
With some variations, the candidates favor the reform or elimination of the cash bail system; diverting nonviolent offenders into treatment or community service; and placing restrictions on the controversial asset-forfeiture program which seizes cash, cars and houses from suspects and their relatives without criminal convictions.
The candidates have different backgrounds, different allies and endorsements, and somewhat different pitches to voters.
There are plenty of ways to find out about the candidates, including here at NewsWorks, where you can hear my interviews with each of the Democrats and see who’s endorsing them.
The winner faces Republican Beth Grossman in the November election.
Today, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.