The Philadelphia Democratic Party will not be endorsing incumbent District Attorney Larry Krasner ahead of the May primary, Broad + Liberty has learned from sources who attended the party’s Thursday policy committee meeting.

Both sources spoke with Broad + Liberty under the condition that they remain anonymous, as they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the party. 

The development underscores what some party leaders see as enough momentum harnessed by challenger Carlos Vega that the race is no longer a clear “walk away” win for Krasner. So, they believe, it would be improper for the party to put its thumb on the scale.

The party’s policy committee met Thursday evening for candidate interviews.

One source told Broad + Liberty that the party would generally feel comfortable with endorsing a candidate ahead of the primary if that candidate has roughly a two-thirds backing of both party leaders and grassroots.

But that same source also said that it was fairly evident from those in attendance at the meeting that a split had emerged. Vega was garnering enough support that the party will now leave any endorsements for the race untouched at the citywide level but would let the 66 local ward leaders decide any endorsements on their own at that level.

A second source told Broad + Liberty that rising crime rates were no longer to be waived away due to the pandemic.

“The kids are not safe, the seniors are not safe,” said the source. “I don’t feel safe letting my kid go down to the 7-11 to get a tank of gas. [Krasner] will try to make this about race, but this is about people’s lives. No accountability, no credibility. Being a DA, you don’t get to just turn your phone off at night. It’s 24-7, 365.”

Both sources described a general frustration after talking with Krasner about his tenure and his campaign. They said that the incumbent seemed unable to answer tough questions about his policies, their consequences, and how he could convey a positive message to a citizenry that is becoming more unsettled by a rising crime rate.

The first source said ward and division leaders are hearing complaints directly from “regular people, not political experts” who don’t necessarily follow legal or criminal justice news. They perceive a growing problem with gun violence, homicides, and other crimes that residents claim are not being properly addressed by Krasner and his administration.

But the first source went on to say that Krasner, when faced with these criticisms, tended to essentially say the facts are on his [Krasner’s] side.

“You don’t say the facts are on my side and if you don’t like how I’m communicating, that’s on you,” the source said.

“I’m happy the party has apparently decided to keep this primary open,” Vega told Broad + Liberty. “Philadelphians have lost confidence in Mr. Krasner’s leadership, and they are ready for an experienced DA who can bring reform and keep our city safe.”

Requests for comment were not immediately returned by the Krasner for DA campaign or the Philadelphia Democratic Party.

Just days ago, Krasner tried to portray himself as the only legitimate Democrat in the race.

“We need to get real about this,” Krasner said at a candidate’s forum organized by the Philadelphia Bar Association. “There is one Democrat who is in this race. There is a fake Democrat and then there is a Republican.”

Last week, Broad + Liberty reported that more than a dozen elected city and state leaders in the southeast refused to respond to a survey asking for their appraisal of Krasner’s first term.

On Wednesday, Broad + Liberty also reported that Krasner had been chastised by the Pennsylvania Superior Court for “a marked and concerning increase in the number of requests for extensions,” from the Philadelphia DA’s office.

Todd Shepherd is Broad + Liberty’s chief investigative reporter. Send him tips at tshepherd at broadandliberty.com, or use his encrypted email at shepherdreports at protonmail.com.

10 thoughts on “Philly Democratic party won’t endorse Krasner”

  1. Holding the democratic thumb from the scale has changed the voting pattern of democratic voters who have become more independent and will vote the opposite of the wishes of their party. Krasner will retain a large segment of the Democratic party but the question is how many ward leaders will push for his reelection especially in those wards that are affected by the rising crime rates. Vega has to go one one one with those leaders and sell that there is no crime increase due to the pandemic, national trends or any other excuse but simply the failure of the current DA. I would also point out that his background was never tested or equipped to undertake the full use of the crime-solving ability of the office.

  2. No Krasner, the facts are NOT on your side. Crime is way up, no matter how the biased media or you try to spin it. Philly needs someone who is tough on crime; you are the softest DA Philly has ever had. You need to go and tell your boy Soros to stay outta Philly politics.

  3. What’s extremely disturbing is that most of these so called leaders in the D party are way out of touch with what is happening on ground zero in innercity phila..Police are ironically able to solve certain shootings and murders but not others…Protection and prevention could go a long way..But I dare say that their approach has become stand down, and blame proliferation on Krasner.. True facts from ground zero..D. party, sheep’s always being led to slaughter..Krasner dares to deal from the top of the deck regarding justice for that vulnerable population, makes him enemy #1 for status quo highercy..Just take a look at the conviction integrity unit he set up…Hundreds of years spent behind bars for many innocent men..The choice for justice is clear…Krasner !!

  4. Been a Democratic Committeewoman since I was able to vote well I am 56 yrs of age and finally gave it up. Worked every branch of our govt City,Stae,Federal. And what these politicians have done to this city in the past 5 years is a disgrace. Starting from the Mayor Kenney. DA- whom is known to Philadelphians as Lawless Larry. And Police Commissioner Outlaw need a clean sweep.. They let this city get so out of control with their ease on crime and now they dont have no idea how to fix it I am so glad that the Democratic Party decided not to endorse him.. But I honestly think it is entirely to late for this city to ever get back to this Great City it once was..This Administration ruined the lives of the TAX PAYING and Honest and CARING PEOPLE THAT LIVE HERE..

  5. I would vote for Vega in a heartbeat. Krasner is a disaster. I don’t feel safe going anywhere in Philly and I’ve lived here my whole life, 77 years. God help me if I ever have to defend myself against a criminal. Krasner would find a way to back the criminal. Worst DA we ever had. Thanks to Soros and the creeps who back him up.

  6. So while Democrats are critical of Krasner for not cracking down hard enough on crime, the GOP is busy censuring anyone who dares to speak out against a former president who encouraged a mob of criminal thugs to murder a cop and try to violently suppress the will of the American people.

    Remind me again which party is the party of “law and order”

  7. The only thing we as Philadelphians should be worried about is one number. The amount of people shot…and/or shot and killed by criminals DIRECTLY RELEASED by krasner. It’s well over 10. That’s disgusting to think about. The news every night has made us cold to murders…but imagine it’s one of your family members…killed…and then to find out the killer has priors that should have kept him in jail…but Krasner released them. It ain’t the judges. It ain’t the police… it’s krasners office and his policies. These are facts. We must face them and make a change. Do not brush off the innocent murders.

  8. Some people seem to have forgotten that Krasner was originally not a prosecutor, and on being elected announced that he was “a defense counsel with power!” An incredible statement for someone supposed to be the city’s top criminal prosecutor to make. Like his equally liberal opposite number in L.A., he is of the mentality that violent crime is really society’s fault, the cause being poverty. If that were so, some of the country’s highest crime rates would be in dirt-poor white communities like Appalachia. But it’s not. The staggering fact is that young (15 to 45) black males comprise just 5% of the US population, but commit nearly half of all violent crimes, including murder, rape, muggings, burglary and aggravated assault (a weapon was used or grievous bodily harm inflicted.) Obama himself, in 2005 when a senator, put his finger on the root cause; 70% of all black children are growing up in single-parent households – almost invariably the parent being the mother. He said that a boy growing up with no father living in the house was five times more likely to drop out of school, eight times more likely to engage in crime and 20 times more likely to end up in jail or dead. Of course, the loopy left of his party soon put him straight: You want to be our presidential candidate? Better not step out of line again, Barry.

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