by LAYLA JONES – PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE
Philadelphia District Attorney candidate Larry Krasner secured the endorsement of members of the influential group of elected officials, including former City Councilwoman Marian Tasco, on Monday.
Meanwhile, candidate Tariq El-Shabazz spoke out against a scathing report about him published last week. The events are some of the latest in Philadelphia’s high-stakes D.A. race.
The endorsement for Krasner follows news last week on the receipt of nearly $300,000 in advertisement funding for Krasner from billionaire investor George Soros.
Krasner has already received progressive endorsements from local unions including AFSCME District 1199C which represents hospital and health care employees, local social justice organizations like 215 People’s Alliance and national organizations including MoveOn.org.
However the support from Tasco, state Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, 10th ward leader and Elaine Tomlin, 42nd ward leader — members of what’s known as the Northwest Coalition — could be the crossover civil rights attorney Krasner needs to reach a substantial bit of Philadelphia’s historic voter population.
The Northwest Coalition represents a large region of Philadelphia “super voters,” or voters who have consistently cast ballots in most elections. According to a map by Econsult Solutions, a Philadelphia-based economic consulting firm, wards in Northwest had high voter turn out for the D.A.’s race in 2009, the year Seth Williams was elected and have had relatively high turnout in 2005, 2009 and 2013 D.A. primary elections.
Mayor Jim Kenney’s victory is a recent example of the Coalition’s power. Running against a well-known Black candidate, Kenney won the 2015 primary over state Sen. Anthony Williams after receiving the support of several of Coalition members including Tasco, Councilwoman Cherelle Parker and now-Congressman Dwight Evans. At the time, Newswork reporter Dave Davies called it “historic.”
Councilwomen Parker and Maria Quiñones Sánchez also endorsed Krasner on Monday.