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Endorsed by Ed Rendell, D.A. candidate Joe Khan emerges as a top fundraiser

April 8, 2017 GMT

On Wednesday, wearing an American flag lapel pin, district attorney candidate Joe Khan accepted the formal endorsement of former governor Ed Rendell during a press conference in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall.

“The DA’s office is obviously in crisis, and we need a new and good district attorney,” Rendell told a room of reporters and Khan supporters.

Khan is one of seven Democratic candidates running for Philadelphia District Attorney. He’s joined by candidates former first assistant DA Tariq El-Shabazz, municipal judge Teresa Carr Deni, former ADA Michael Untermeyer, former city managing director Rich Negrin, civil rights attorney Larry Krasner and another former ADA, Jack O’Neill. Beth Grossman is the lone Republican DA candidate.

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The son of a Pakistani immigrant, Khan got his law degree from the University of Chicago where he developed a relationship with a then-professor named Barack Obama, and returned to Philadelphia to work in the DA’s office and the United States Attorney’s Office as an assistant U.S. attorney.

In his first race for DA, Khan has set himself apart by becoming one of the top campaign fundraisers. Only Untermeyer, who donated about a quarter of a million dollars to his own campaign, has more cash on hand.

Khan has also been endorsed by Gold Star father Khazir Khan, with whom he happens to share the same last name.

Krasner was endorsed by several social justice groups including Asa Khalif of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Working Families party, Reclaim Philadelphia, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division — International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED) and, on Thursday, Philly for Change.

Negrin won the influential endorsements of the Guardian Civic League, the leader of Philadelphia’s Spanish American Law Enforcement Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

However, the crowded race remains open with several candidate forums taking place this month, including April 17 at Drexel’s Kline School of Law, April 18 by Color of Change and Media Mobilizing Project at Arch Street Methodist Church and April 25 at Temple University to be hosted by Young Involved Philadelphia.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Rendell revealed he met with Negrin and Untermeyer, both of whom Rendell formerly worked with, before ultimately deciding to throw his support behind Khan, whom Rendell said he’d never met prior.

“I have a high regard for Rich, and I think he’d make a good DA,” Rendell said. “It’s just that I think Joe would make a great DA.”

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