HomeNewsPublic forum set for district attorney candidates

Public forum set for district attorney candidates

In other political news: Former Mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell last week endorsed Rebecca Rhynhart for city controller. Rhynhart is challenging incumbent Alan Butkovitz in the May 16 Democratic primary. PHOTO: REBECCA RHYNHART / FACEBOOK

Northeast Victim Service, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast Times are sponsoring the forum, set for Tuesday, May 2, at the Cottage Green.

Northeast Victim Service, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast Times are sponsoring a forum featuring the eight candidates for district attorney.

The event is set for Tuesday, May 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cottage Green, 9001 Ashton Road.

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The public is invited to attend.

All eight candidates have agreed to participate. Those attending will be Republican Beth Grossman and Democrats Teresa Carr Deni, Michael Untermeyer, Joe Khan, Jack O’Neill, Rich Negrin, Larry Krasner and Tariq El-Shabazz.

Tom Waring, editor of the Times, will moderate the forum.

Pat Parkinson, chairman of Northeast Victim Services, a nonprofit crime victim advocacy organization, said, “This is a great opportunity to have the DA candidates together to address issues important to the residents of Northeast Philly, and we would like to see our next potential district attorney’s ideas for the Northeast on everything from crime to community courts.

“Northeast Philadelphia is home to about one-third of the city’s residents, so we want to give those folks a chance to hear from the candidates face-to-face all in one place close to home.”

••

State Rep. Mike O’Brien and Democratic ward leaders Connie Dougherty (41st) and Harry Enggasser (45th) /have endorsed Joe Khan in the race for district attorney.

“After paying close attention to all the candidates running for district attorney, it has become clear that Joe Khan is the most-qualified person to bring much-needed reforms to the D.A.’s office while also keeping our citizens safe from violent crime,” O’Brien said.

Khan said, “I am very proud to have earned the support of a strong progressive like Rep. O’Brien. As Philly’s next D.A., I plan to enact a bold reform agenda to make the office more transparent and responsive to community needs, but in order to accomplish these reforms, the office needs the leadership of a career prosecutor with a proven track record of taking on the big fights while being fair to everyone who comes in contact with the justice system.”

••

Former Mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell last week endorsed Rebecca Rhynhart for city controller.

Rhynhart is challenging incumbent Alan Butkovitz in the May 16 Democratic primary.

Rendell said Butkovitz, elected in 2005, has been in office “far too long,” adding that his re-election would “clearly not benefit the citizens of Philadelphia.”

Rendell said, “I am endorsing Rebecca Rhynhart for city controller because not only is she extraordinarily qualified for the job, but she also represents the change the city of Philadelphia needs. The incumbent, Alan Butkovitz, has been in office for 12 years, far too long. The mayor is term-limited to two terms, and a fourth term for Alan would clearly not benefit the citizens of Philadelphia. We need an aggressive controller who will act as an independent auditor of all aspects of the city’s finances to achieve savings of potentially millions of dollars in waste and unfound dollars that could be going toward important city services, support the school district or back into taxpayers’ pockets.

“Rebecca represents the breath of fresh air we need. She will help reinvigorate and bring trust back to city government. And her strong financial background — in the banking industry, as city treasurer and then budget director under Mayor Nutter and as chief administrative officer under Mayor Kenney — provides her with the skillset and experience necessary to do this job right. She is also fiercely independent and is ready and willing to act as a watchdog over the financial management of all aspects of the city, something we have been sorely missing for the last 12 years. Her smarts, her experience, her independence and her willingness to take on the challenges that have gone overlooked for too long make her the best person for the job. This is a great opportunity for Democrats to take back their party and elect a competent, independent leader who will keep the city moving forward.”

••

Rhynhart also picked up backing last week from the Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

Samuel Staten Jr., business manager of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 332, said it is time for a change after Controller Alan Butkovitz’s three terms.

“Our members must feel assured that their taxpayer dollars are being used to support our communities and the hard-working men and women who keep our city running every day. For the last 12 years, that has not been the case and, time and again, the oversight over important government functions has fallen short, thanks to the establishment’s focus on helping their friends and patrons rather than on helping the city move forward. Rebecca Rhynhart is different. She understands the importance of a government that supports the working class and she wants to work on their behalf. She is committed to working together to root out waste and dysfunction, which is exactly the kind of leader we need,” he said.

Ryan Boyer, business manager of the Laborers’ District Council, said, “Our members deserve a city controller who will work with our leaders to save money and root out corruption to uncover funds that can be used to invest in new projects to improve and upgrade our roads, bridges and tunnels. Rebecca Rhynhart will be the controller we need to move this city forward.”

••

In other news, Rhynhart and Butkovitz will debate twice before the May 16 Democratic primary.

The first debate will take place on Thursday, April 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 500 W. Willow Grove Ave. They will be joined by Republican Mike Tomlinson. The debate will be moderated by Holly Otterbein, of Philadelphia magazine, and Pete Mazzaccaro, editor of the Chestnut Hill Local.

The second debate will be co-hosted by The Philadelphia Citizen and the Committee of Seventy, and will take place on Tuesday, May 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Industrious Philadelphia, 230 S. Broad St. It will be moderated by WHYY Newsworks vice president Chris Satullo, and be streamed live on Facebook.

••

As for the 2018 campaign cycle, Sean Patrick Wayland has website, Twitter and Facebook pages declaring his candidacy in the 177th Legislative District.

The incumbent is Republican Rep. John Taylor, who defeated Democrat Joe Hohenstein with 55 percent of the vote.

Wayland, of Port Richmond, served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve and spent time in Iraq in 2008. He has been endorsed by the liberal VoteVets.org, which includes him on its “Emerging Leaders” list. ••

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