In his first press briefing as the Democratic nominee for District Attorney Tuesday night, Larry Krasner thanked voters, defended his absence of prosecutorial experience and said he would not be beholden to billionaire George Soros, who backed a political action committee supporting his campaign.
Krasner spoke with reporters shortly before 11 p.m. in a laundry room – the quietest place in the crowded and boisterous John C. Anderson Apartment Complex, where he held his victory party.
“I don’t see it as my victory. I think it’s a victory of ideas and a campaign of ideas and those ideas were supported by people who shared the same values,” Krasner said of his win.
Krasner takes press questions in laundry room where Vince Hughes is taking a call. pic.twitter.com/gGf9gt1cHz
— Julia Terruso (@JuliaTerruso) May 17, 2017
Krasner, 56, defeated six other candidates vying to become Philadelphia's top prosecutor, with 38 percent of the vote, a nearly 18-point lead on his closest rival. His progressive campaign was backed by a $1.45 million influx from an independent political action committee backed by Soros. Krasner said that, should he become district attorney, that support would not make him beholden to Soros.
“I don’t have to pick up the phone for anyone,” Krasner said. “It’s no disrespect to Mr. Soros, whom I have never met, or his organization, but the bottom line is I have held these views for a long time.”
Earlier in the night, some attendees had erupted in anti-Fraternal Order of Police chants. Krasner, who has sued law enforcement dozens of times over his career, repeated a message he’s delivered throughout the campaign:
“I think everybody realizes that the vast majority of police officers in Philadelphia are really good people. Like me, they hate bad police officers and they need the backing of law enforcement to make sure that the good police officers are promoted, that the good police officers have room to do their job, that the good police officers are safe, and that the bad police officers who endanger them and who cause there to be disrespect and a rift between them and the community are out of the way.”
Krasner, who has worked for 30 years in criminal defense but never as a prosecutor, dismissed concerns a group of former assistant district attorneys has raised about his readiness to lead the office.
“I have been told, as many, many of us finding our way up have been told, that there are things I couldn't do my entire life. Turns out, I could. And sure, there are going to be some people telling me, 'You can't do this.' Well, it’s really not about me, it’s about having the right people around me, but I feel very confident that yes, I can do this.”