Earlier this month, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner endorsed Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for president, only a week after Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney also backed Warren.
Krasner was elected D.A. in 2017, after a campaign in which he promised to bring sweeping changes to Philadelphia’s criminal justice system. In his first week, he fired 31 prosecutors from the D.A.’s office and dropped all marijuana possession charges.
Krasner says Warren’s message of economic justice connects easily to criminal justice reform, which Krasner has focused on as D.A. for the city. Warren has “been very, very clear that she understands the direct connection between racism and law enforcement in communities of color and its consequences, in terms of discriminatory and disproportionate use of jail cells and prosecutions,” Krasner said when speaking about the presidential candidate.
“This country needs to have a reckoning and come straight at the issue of race,” Krasner said. “I’m endorsing Elizabeth Warren because her plans fundamentally change how we address crime. She is trying to make our system fair. I think that her actions her whole life have demonstrated her dedication to economic justice.”
Krasner is known nationwide as a progressive Democrat and as one of the most progressive district attorneys in the country. The voter bases of Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders overlap with Krasner, and he was likely to endorse one of the two.
Mayor Kenney backed Warren as well in the 2020 Democratic primary race for president, and he was the first big-city mayor in America to do so.
“This is a critical election that will determine our nation’s future and our priorities. Elizabeth Warren is a tough and determined leader,” Kenney said in an email announcing his endorsement. “Elizabeth Warren and I share a progressive Democratic agenda. She’ll focus on equality and equity of opportunity, lasting job creation, serious criminal justice reform, childcare and pre-K education — along with secondary and post-secondary educational improvements and opportunities for all our children.”
For Warren, the nod is a show of support in a city where one of her biggest rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, has deep political ties and has situated his campaign headquarters. Biden has far outpaced his rivals in endorsements from elected Democrats in Pennsylvania.
Kenney and Krasner’s endorsements are notable for Warren’s campaign. She has yet to secure a major endorsement from a governor or senator outside of Massachusetts.
Fellow Democrats Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and U.S. Representatives Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle, who represent parts of Philadelphia, have endorsed Biden.
The 2020 Pennsylvania Democratic primary will be held on Tuesday, April 28. Most polls currently have Joe Biden winning. Senator Warren follows Biden, and she is followed by Senator Sanders.