Matt Dugan, the Democratic candidate running for district attorney in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County, lost his election bid despite receiving nearly $2 million of funding from megadonor George Soros, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Dugan first challenged incumbent District Attorney Stephen Zappala in the county’s May primary election, beating Zappala by 10 points after receiving $700,000 in funding from the Soros-funded Pennsylvania Justice and Public Safety Political Action Committee (PAC), according to the Post-Gazette. The PAC donated an additional $1.1 million to Dugan’s campaign between June and October, but Zappala managed to beat the Democratic challenger by 3 points despite his major loss just months earlier. (RELATED: Soros-Backed PAC Is Almost Exclusively Bankrolling Left-Wing DA Candidate)
“We connected with a lot of voters,” Dugan said on Tuesday night, according to the Post-Gazette. “We just came up a little bit short.”
“I care deeply about criminal justice, I care deeply about Allegheny County, and there’s a space for me out there somewhere,” Dugan added. “I’ll tackle that tomorrow.”
Matt Dugan greets his supporters after conceding the election. pic.twitter.com/ZIFUSQp3ul
— Paula Reed Ward (@PaulaReedWard) November 8, 2023
Dugan ran on a platform of criminal justice reform and advocated for policies including eliminating cash bail, prosecuting fewer “low-level offenders” and shrinking the jail population, according to his campaign website. The candidate criticized Zappala for receiving funding from a Republican billionaire and argued that the incumbent district attorney had “betrayed” the values of Pennsylvania citizens with his criminal justice approach.
“The whole system is broken,” Dugan claimed in a campaign video. “For 23 years, we’ve had a prosecutor whose calling card was that he’s tough on crime. But as chief public defender, I’ve seen the failure of that approach nearly every single day. I’ve seen kids’ lives ruined for a mistake they thought was the only way out of a bad situation, while dangerous criminals are never brought to justice.”
Zappala has served as district attorney for Allegheny County since 1998 and has advocated for more police involvement in crime-ridden areas of downtown Pittsburgh, according to the Post-Gazette. He lost the 2023 Democratic primary in May but was nominated by the Republican Party as a write-in candidate.
Buta Biberaj, the incumbent district attorney of Loudoun County in Virginia whose campaign was also backed by Soros, lost her reelection bid on Tuesday as well. More Soros-funded district attorneys across the nation have come under fire as critics have claimed that their lenient approach toward crime has made cities less safe.
Dugan’s campaign said the candidate was taking some time off to “regroup” after the election and declined to comment further on the matter. Zappala’s campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.