Home News Bustleton native announces run for district attorney

Bustleton native announces run for district attorney

Ready to race: Former city and federal prosecutor Joe Khan announced last week that he would challenge District Attorney Seth Williams in next year’s Democratic primary.

By Tom Waring

Northeast Times

Former city and federal prosecutor Joe Khan, a Bustleton native, announced last week that he would challenge District Attorney Seth Williams in next year’s Democratic primary, blaming the incumbent for mismanaging the office.

“Philadelphia’s district attorney has lost his way,” Khan said.

Khan announced his candidacy at a Sept. 22 news conference across from the district attorney’s office.

“This is day one of a long campaign,” he said.

Other Democrats are likely to enter the race.

Williams lost a 2005 primary challenge to incumbent Lynne Abraham, then won a hard-fought primary in ’09 when Abraham did not seek another term. He easily won the general election that year, was unopposed in the 2013 primary and cruised to victory that fall.

But, Williams has had a rocky second term.

In August, he amended his statements of financial interests, listing more than $160,000 in gifts from 2010–15.

“We don’t have to live with a broken DA’s office,” Khan said.

A possible Republican candidate is Beth Grossman, a former assistant district attorney and onetime chief of staff at the city Department of Licenses and Inspections.

As for Khan, 41, he grew up on Alburger Avenue, the son of a Muslim father from Pakistan and a Catholic mother from West Oak Lane. He attended Greenberg Elementary School, Baldi MIddle School and Central High School and played sports for the Bustleton Bengals. He’s a 2000 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.

In deciding to challenge an incumbent, Khan recalled words uttered by a former law school professor, Barack Obama, when he announced his candidacy for president. Obama said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

While in Chicago, Khan worked on Obama’s losing congressional campaign.

Khan was an assistant district attorney from 2000–06.

“We treated every victim with dignity and with respect,” he said.

Next, he became an assistant U.S. attorney, most recently prosecuting corrupt politicians in Reading and Allentown.

Khan recently resigned that job. His wife, Jessica, also recently resigned as a city prosecutor and now works as a clerk for a state judge.

The Khans have two children and live in Roxborough. The candidate was joined at the announcement by his brother, Tarik.

If elected, Khas said he would increase training and support for assistant district attorneys. His mission would be to pursue justice, not give off a false sense of security with inflated conviction rates. He’s worked with police officers in his career, and believes he has their respect.

The candidate knows the campaign will be tough, but isn’t worried, as he’s prosecuted difficult cases of child abuse and sexual assault.

“I am ready to restore integrity, judgment and fairness to the district attorney’s office,” he said. ••

Exit mobile version