DA candidate raises more than $200K for campaign

Former prosecutor Joe Khan, a Democratic candidate for district attorney, has raised $212,941 since launching his candidacy last September, and ended 2016 with $210,195 cash on hand.

Khan is one of five Democrats in the race. The others are incumbent Seth Williams, former Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni, former city managing director Rich Negrin and attorney and real estate developer Michael Untermeyer.

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

“The outpouring of support for my campaign demonstrates a desire for change, and assures that I will have the resources required to take on an incumbent district attorney who has embarrassed the city with blatant ethics violations and has failed to address the scourge of gun violence in our neighborhoods,” Khan said.

More than 70 of Khan’s donors are former or current federal, state or local prosecutors who, he said, believe it is critical to restore integrity and confidence in the office.

Meanwhile, Negrin’s campaign announced that it had raised more than $133,000 in 26 days leading up to the ending of the fundraising period on Dec. 31.

Negrin’s total does not include money from defense attorneys who do most of their work arguing against the district attorney’s office. Negrin has pledged to reject so-called “conflict” contributions and challenged his opponents to join him in rejecting this kind of money.

Campaign manager Dan Siegel issued the following statement:

“We’re incredibly encouraged by our report and we’ve already seen the momentum carry over into the beginning of 2017. Rich kicked off his campaign for Philadelphia District Attorney in early December 2016, which means that in roughly 26 days (or fewer when you subtract the holidays at the end of the month), we raised more than $133,000. That’s an impressive figure by any measure. More importantly, we did it without taking any conflict money from defense attorneys who do most of their work on the opposite side of the district attorney’s office. That’s an obvious conflict of interest, which, apparently, only Rich Negrin has the moral clarity to see. The other candidates need to get on board or explain to voters why they think it’s OK to take money from people who could seek to have undue influence on the district attorney.”

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Dan Tinney, Republican leader of the 66th Ward, is gearing up for another run for an at-large City Council seat.

According to the 2016 campaign finance reports released last week, Tinney closed the year with $22,282 cash on hand.

There are seven at-large members. The five Democratic candidates are shoo-ins, based on voter registration. The five Republicans fight it out for the other two seats.

Tinney ran in 2015, targeting incumbents Denny O’Brien and David Oh in the general election. He played a role in O’Brien’s defeat, but Oh won, with Al Taubenberger taking the other seat.

In 2019, Tinney will again count on the 66th Ward, which has the largest number of registered Republicans in the city.

Last year, Tinney was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention.

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Joe DeFelice, chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to continue protecting LGBT workers affiliated with federal contractors:

“The Philadelphia Republican Party applauds President Trump for his decision to continue protecting the LGBT community. Our party is truly diverse and inclusive of all people, and President Trump’s continued, reiterated support for the LGBT community reflects what he has said over and over again: that as president, he will put all Americans first.

“The Republican Party of Philadelphia stands for diversity, and our LGBT ward leaders, staffers and supporters reflect this. We also stand for diversity of thought. To that end, we seek to represent people with a variety of viewpoints on this matter, without smearing them as bigots, as has become the custom of the American left. We look forward to more progress from our president for all Americans.”

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The state Republican Party made its judicial endorsements last weekend.

Supreme Court Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy, an appointee from Tioga County, will be seeking a full term.

The endorsed candidates for Superior Court are Northampton County Common Pleas Court Judge Emil A. Giordano, who lost a 2015 bid for a seat; Blair County Common Pleas Court Judge Wade A. Kagarise; Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paula A. Patrick; and Lancaster County District Attorney Craig W. Stedman.

The endorsed candidates for Commonwealth Court are Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon and Allegheny County lawyer Paul N. Lalley, who lost a bid for a seat in 2015.

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Republican state Sen. Scott Wagner’s campaign for governor reported a $4.2 million war chest to the Department of State.

Almost all of the money was a personal loan.

“Pennsylvanians are hungry for our commonwealth to break the status quo and they want a strong leader and visionary,” Wagner said. “I am honored by the tremendous outpouring of support our campaign has drawn from every region of the commonwealth and pleased to see how energized people are with our campaign.” ••