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DA, Controller's office up for grabs this election

Learn everything you need to know about Philly’s elections today
From left, Democratic candidates for controller Rebecca Rhynhart, for DA Larry Krasner, Republican candidates for DA Beth Grossman, and for controller Mike Tomlinson. (Provided/Krasner by Charles Mostoller)

Philly heads to the polls Nov. 7 to vote on two citywide offices: controller, essentially the city’s accountant, and district attorney, the city’s chief law enforcement officer. Read on for what you need to know about the various candidates. 

Democratic candidate for DA, civil rights and defense lawyer Larry Krasner will face longtime prosecutor and Republican candidate Beth Grossman. 

Democrat Rebecca Rhynhart, a former Wall Street trader, will be running against Republican Mike Tomlinson.

Democratic voters heavily outnumber Republicans in Philly, making Democratic victory in both races all but inevitable, but read on to see where the candidates stand on various issues. 

Voting concerns

Election fraud is a serious issue in Philly, with charges recently filed against four Democratic poll workers accused of alleged election fraud during an April special election for state rep. of Pennsylvania's 197th district. 

If you have trouble finding your polling place, or have concerns that possible election fraud is taking place, contact the following agencies:

Committee of Seventy, Philly's nonpartisan political watchdogwill have an election hotline open at 215-557-3600.

The Philly DA's office Election Fraud Task Force hotline is are 215-686-9641, 9643 and 9644 if voters have trouble casting their ballot or witness any electioneering or other potential election fraud.

The candidates

For DA:

Larry Krasner - D

Krasner built a grassroots campaign, picked up massive financial support from George Soros (who has funded criminal justice reform initiatives across the US), and ended up getting endorsements from many black activists and national attention for his focus on issues like not over-prosecuting nonviolent drug crime offenders, ending stop and frisk, stopping cash bail and a general policy of “decarceration.” 

"For 30 years, I've watched this DA's office go in the wrong direction,” Krasner previously told Metro. “I've done about as much as I can do from the outside to push for justice. ... We're the most incarcerated nation in the world. It's time to go in a different direction."

Beth Grossman – R

Grossman worked in the DA’s office from 1993 until 2015, and she left because of concerns over the conduct that would eventually get her former boss, disgraced ex-DA and convicted felon Seth Williams, tossed into federal prison for up to five years. Grossman pledged to restore accountability to the DA’s office. She has a conservative stance on most law and order issues, opposes sanctuary city policies and wants to save the city money. In combatting opioid abuse, she supports safe needle injection sites. She asked the public to take a fair view of her policies.

“I want the public to be informed and to look at me beyond the label ‘Republican,'” she previously told Metro. “Take an objective look at me.” 

For City Controller:

Rebecca Rhynhart – D

Rebecca Rhynhart worked as managing director at Bear Stearns and, before that, as a director in the public finance division at Fitch Ratings. After 2008 she began work as Philadelphia city treasurer, as budget director under mayors Nutter and Kenney, and as Kenney’s chief administrative officer until last December. She decided to run for Philadelphia City Controller after Donald Trump’s election, and in the Democratic primary, she defeated incumbent Alan Butkovitz (around whom rumors have since begun swirling about a possible mayoral campaign as he takes an increasingly tough stance on Kenney’s soda tax). 

“After November, I knew I had to jump in and run for office,” Rhynhart told Metro. “We need to be more efficient than ever with our financial resources.”

Mike Tomlinson – R

Tomlinson, of Northeast Philly, is a certified public accountant and Temple graduate who taught in the School District of Philadelphia. In recent Facebook posts, he claimed that the city’s new five-year budget plan does not include the funds to pay for city workers’ coming contracts.

“If the corrupt city government would just eliminate the waste, mismanagement, fraud and corruption, there would be sufficient resources to pay for these new contracts,” Tomlinson wrote. “Instead, there will be cutbacks in city services.”