PHILADELPHIA - After surviving a challenge in the Democratic primary, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner will now face GOP challenger Charles Peruto Jr. In Tuesday’s election.
May’s primary was seen as a referendum on whether a wave of prosecutors elected on promises of criminal justice reform — measures like shorter probation and parole and a curtailing of cash bail that disproportionately keeps poor defendants confined before trial — would be blamed for increasing violence.
He beat challenger Carlos Vega, who billed himself as a third option between traditional law-and-order prosecutions and reform.
Critics have placed the blame on Krasner and other progressive prosecutors for the increase in gun crimes. Supporters have pushed back, noting that rising violence during the pandemic — amid reduced social services and economic instability — are hitting cities with both liberal district attorneys and traditional law-and-order prosecutors.
Krasner, a 60-year-old longtime civil rights and defense attorney, won election in 2017 against a crowded field by billing himself as the outsider candidate capable of making radical change.
Charles Peruto Jr., another longtime defense attorney, announced he would be running against Krasner earlier this year, claiming the incumbent had been too soft on crime. He also stated that he was more fit for the job because he was born and raised in Philadelphia.
Peruto Jr., a former Democrat who previously voted for Krasner, says he changed parties and decided to run because of what he says has been a lack of action on guns and gun violence.
"The big issue is, he's doing nothing about guns and gun violence, which is why I'm running," Peruto explained. "I was a Democrat, but not when it comes to guns and gun violence. This is a single-issue race. It's public safety. It's not about abortion. It's not about the rights of school children, it's about guns and gun safety."
Both candidates recently sat down with FOX 29’s Jason Martinez to discuss Tuesday’s election and their positions on the issues the District Attorney’s Office has and will face. You can watch both interviews in the video players above.
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