Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has endorsed Carlos Vega over the incumbent Larry Krasner for Philadelphia District Attorney. Rendell, who also served in the position himself, as well as Mayor of Philadelphia, called the endorsement a “reluctant step.”
Rendell referred to Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis as the motivation behind his endorsement. The city’s murder rate is up 30% from this point last year, which followed a spike in violent crime that began in 2019. This predates a nationwide crime wave and homicide spike that began in most major cities last year. In Philadelphia, shootings have increased dramatically since 2019, while many more are expected with the official start of summer just weeks away.
This past weekend, 25 people were shot and seven were killed in Philadelphia. Rendell stated that last weekend’s violence was “the final straw” for him, who added that he doesn’t often like to criticize his successors.
“He’s not a bad man,” Rendell told reporters in his office at the Bellevue Hotel. The former Governor added that he would likely endorse Krasner in a Congressional or state Senate race, “but it’s not,” he continued.
“It’s an election for district attorney. And in the almost three and a half years he’s spent as district attorney, he’s clearly demonstrated that he simply doesn’t understand or won’t recognize that the first and most important part of a DA’s job is to protect people in this city from violent, brutal crime.”
Ed Rendell and Carlos Vega have a long history that dates back to the 1980’s. Rendell recruited Vega out of law school during that time period, who would go on to become the first Latino homicide prosecutor in the state. “He believed in me when I was a young man, and he believes in me now,” Vega said while sitting next to Rendell.
Voters will go to the polls next Tuesday in a closed primary. The high profile race has led over 6,000 Philadelphia Republicans to switch party registration in order to vote for the challenger.
Vega has cited statistics regarding violent crime in the city repeatedly throughout his campaign. He has promised not to completely gut all of Krasner’s reforms, but has emphasized safety, as well as curbing violent crime.