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Krasner declared winner of Democratic primary for DA in Philly


Redacción Agencias | 5/17/2017, 9:27 a.m.
Krasner declared winner of Democratic primary for DA in Philly
Larry Krasner | Foto Cortesía

That turned out to be just the ticket for victory in the unlikeliest of Democratic primary elections Tuesday.

Progressive voters demanded reform for an office currently held by a man under federal indictment. And the local race was nationalized by a growing sense of resistance among many Democrats in the city to President Trump’s every move.

Krasner, 56, easily defeated six other contenders Tuesday, in a campaign that went from low-key to high-profile last month with a $1.45 million investment from billionaire George Soros in a pro-Krasner independent political action committee.

With nearly 98 percent of the vote tallied Tuesday night, Krasner held nearly an 18-point lead on his closest Democratic rival.

Krasner will face in the Nov. 7 general election Beth Grossman, the lone Republican in her party’s primary Tuesday.

Krasner, a defense attorney for three decades best known for taking on civil rights cases for Black Lives Matter and Occupy Philadelphia members, AIDS activists and protesters arrested at political conventions, has never served a day in his career as a prosecutor.

That became his pitch — that he was more likely to reform the District Attorney’s Office because he had no ties to the institution, unlike most of the other Democrats in the race.

That message appealed to several hundred people who filled the John C. Anderson Apartments community room and an outdoor courtyard in Center City on Tuesday night for Krasner’s victory party.

It got a little rowdy as the results rolled in.

Chants of "No good cops in a racist system" and against the Fraternal Order of Police were quickly shut down by Krasner campaign staffers.

Krasner, who lives in West Mount Airy, told the crowd they shared a vision of “a criminal justice system that makes things better, that is just, that is based on preventing crime and is based on building up society rather than tearing it apart."

And he reached out to the office he hopes to lead.

"To the good people of the District Attorney's Office, I want you to know, you could have made more doing something else, but you became district attorneys because you wanted justice,” he said. “You know what I want? I want what you want. I want justice."

Krasner had a remarkable impact on the primary, pulling the field to the left, leading that movement with a pledge to stop seeking death-penalty sentences if elected.

He joked Tuesday night that his position on capital punishment had been described as “political suicide.”

As he ended his speech, the crowd launched into a booming chant of "This is what democracy looks like."

Krasner’s primary victory is certain to set off rumblings of uncertainty in the District Attorney’s Office.

He has described it as “a place with a mad zeal for the highest charge, for the highest level of conviction, a culture that can find no flaw in police misconduct, that is drunk on the death penalty.”

Krasner has also sued law enforcement agencies or the government more than 75 times.