Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner fended off a primary challenge on Tuesday that tested his progressive, soft-on-crime policies against a record increase in homicides and gun violence in the city.
The primary was seen as a major test for a wave of prosecutors elected on measures such as shorter probation, parole and a curtailing of cash bail whose cities. Krasner easily came away with the victory, garnering 64.9% of the vote vs. 35% for his opponent, longtime homicide prosecutor Carlos Vega.
“The second term, which is 4.5 years, starts now,” declared Krasner to a cheering crowd in Center City as the results came in.
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“We are going to continue down a path that joins a focus on very serious crime with reform that is constructive for society,” Krasner added.
Vega, who was one of the prosecutors Krasner fired after taking over the DA’s office in 2018, argued during the election that it was his lenient crime policies that were responsible for the crime spike. Vega billed himself as a third option between traditional law-and-order prosecutors and those like Krasner who have vowed to not to prosecute specific crimes as a matter of policy.
“This was not easy for the [crime] victims especially,” Vega said after conceding Tuesday night. “Please remember them … I am hopeful that my opponent will take them more seriously during his tenure.”
Krasner was first elected district attorney in 2017 out of a crowded Democratic primary, and was one of the many prosecutors in cities across the nation elected with the help of Super PACs financed by liberal mega-donor George Soros.
The city of Philadelphia saw the number of homicides reach a 30-year-high in 2020, increasing by 40% from the previous year. Homicides in 2021 are already up 34% and are on pace to break the record from last year. (RELATED: ‘We Will Not Prosecute’: Left-Wing Prosecutors, Many Backed By Soros Cash, Implement Soft-On-Crime Policies Across America)
Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5 put more money and effort into unseating Krasner than any political race in recent memory, said President John McNesby.
Thousands of voters had also switched from Republican to Democrat in order to vote in the primary against Krasner, who also only had 28% of his campaign donations come from the city of Philadelphia.
Republican defense lawyer Charles Peruto Jr. will be Krasner’s opponent in the November general election. He is expected to easily win in the heavily Democratic city.