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Newly re-elected Delco DA Jack Stollsteimer announces his run for Pa. attorney general

Delaware County’s recently re-elected district attorney on Monday announced his candidacy for state attorney general as the lone Democratic candidate so far who has served as a county’s top law enforcement officer.

Jack Stollsteimer, the first-ever Democrat elected as Delco’s district attorney, announced less than a month after winning re-election that he’d join the crowded race to become Pennsylvania’s next top prosecutor.

Stollsteimer, 60, of Havertown, said he wants to expand on his “record of success” in one of Pennsylvania’s most populous counties to the whole state, noting his office’s community-led partnership that curbed gun violence in Chester and aggressive prosecution of construction companies that misclassify workers to avoid paying them unemployment benefits.

The Democrat now joins a crowded field seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination in the April primary election. Four other Democrats have announced their candidacy thus far, including state Rep. Jared Solomon (D., Philadelphia), Philadelphia’s former top public defender Keir Bradford-Grey, former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and former Bucks County solicitor Joe Khan.

Two Republicans have announced their candidacy for the Republican primary election, including Katayoun “Kat” Copeland, the former Delaware County district attorney who Stollsteimer beat in 2019, and York County District Attorney Dave Sunday. A third Republican, state Rep. Craig Williams (R., Chester), plans to announce his campaign soon.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general row office has catapulted several of its former officeholders to the governor’s mansion, including most recently, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro.

Stollsteimer was rumored to be eyeing an attorney general run before the November election. That intensified in October after a Westmoreland County Democratic Party flier began circulating online that was labeled as sponsored by “Jack Stollsteimer for Attorney General.”

Stollsteimer acknowledged ahead of the November election that he was mulling a statewide campaign for attorney general, but insisted he had not made a decision on whether he’d run and was committed to the district attorney role.

“My intention when I’m reelected is to continue all of these projects, to continue the great work we’re doing every day,” he told The Inquirer last month before the November election. “You can’t let your foot off the gas. So when you’re district attorney, not only do you get to set the priorities of what your staff are going to work on, but you have to make sure that people every single day continue to do it.”

In a phone interview Monday, Stollsteimer said he decided to run for attorney general because he believes he can do “even more for the people of Delaware County” and the rest of the state.

Solomon, one of the other Democratic attorney general candidates, said he intends to run for both his state House seat and attorney general in next year’s primary.

Big stakes in 2024

Stollsteimer said Pennsylvania will need a strong advocate to represent the state after the 2024 election — and his experiences that make him uniquely qualified for the job.

As district attorney, Stollsteimer charged a Delco man for casting an illegal ballot in 2020 for former President Donald Trump on behalf of his dead mother. The county itself was the subject of conspiracy theories that alleged fraud in the 2020 and 2022 elections.

“Next year is going to be a horrendous election in Pennsylvania,” Stollsteimer said. “We’re once again going to be under the microscope of election deniers. I’ve been involved in that fight for the last four years.”

Stollsteimer also noted he is one of few DAs in the state who publicly pledged after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion that he would not prosecute a woman for getting an abortion in the county.

If elected, Stollsteimer said his two top priorities are continuing his fight against wage theft of workers and curbing gun violence, he said.

“The fact that gunfire is the leading cause of death for young people should be morally outrageous,” Stollsteimer said. “That’s my passion. I’m going to spend all of my time as attorney general to try to reduce gun violence and save peoples’ lives.”

Prior to his election as Delco’s DA in 2019, Stollsteimer was an assistant U.S. Attorney who worked on a gun violence task force and a former Gov. Ed Rendell-appointee as a watchdog of school safety in Philadelphia.

Stollsteimer will kick-off his campaign in an event in Chester with labor leaders on Tuesday.

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