As violent crime defines Philadelphia, Republican congressional candidate Aaron Bashir said he hopes to do something about it.
“People don’t have respect for life anymore,” Bashir said.
Bashir, who is challenging Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-2nd dist.) in the Nov. 8 election, describes himself as a consevative Christian who believes, “What God says goes.” He thinks there is a lack of values in society and not enough traditional, two-parent households to teach right from wrong. Church leaders, he hopes, begin to speak out.
The challenger is troubled by retail thefts, criminals disguising themselves in masks and crimes committed by young people – citing the beating death of a North Philadelphia senior citizen with traffic cones and the recent rampage at the Wawa at Tyson Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard.
The candidate wants more federal funding and respect for law enforcement, in part, to make it easier to recruit police officers. He said it is no coincidence that big cities with high crime rates are run by Democrats, adding that he believes safety and quality of life are better in congressional districts represented by Republicans.
“We don’t need to defund the police,” he said. “I will give police officers the respect they deserve.”
Bashir, 42, is married with three children and lives in Castor Gardens. Born in Pakistan, he has worked as an educator and in accounting and real estate. He’s also active in the community, including pushing back when Woodrow Wilson Middle School officials changed the school name with little to no outreach to the neighborhood.
Two years ago, Bashir challenged state Rep. Kevin Boyle in a district that consisted of Rockledge and parts of eight wards. He took 39 percent of the vote and was hoping for a rematch. But the new 172nd Legislative District is more compact and does not include Bashir’s home.
The 2nd Congressional District is heavily Democratic. The district includes all of the Northeast, parts of North Philadelphia and other areas of the city.
Bashir is no fan of District Attorney Larry Krasner, contending he is not strong enough of a prosecutor, and hopes the state legislature impeaches him and removes him from office.
“He’s not doing the job he’s supposed to be doing,” he said.
Bashir is pro-life and vows to not vote to raise taxes. He wants to put conditions on public schools before providing federal funding. He blames President Joe Biden for killing the Keystone XL pipeline on his first full day in office, contending it has caused a loss of jobs and higher energy prices. The high inflation rate, he said, is hurting senior citizens who rely on prescription drugs and shoppers when they go to the supermarket.
The loss of life due to drugs saddens Bashir, he said. He calls it a “poison.” He opposes safe injection sites, and believes Democrats’ open-border policies are contributing to the problem. He favors stronger prosecution of drug dealers and more rehabilitation programs for addicts, adding that successfully addressing the issue will help the good people of affected neighborhoods such as Kensington.
“They’re slaves to their addiction,” he said of addicts. “They’re brothers, sisters, daughters, sons.” ••