Meet the Candidates

Running for PA Attorney General

Join The Philadelphia Citizen, 6abc, WURD and Spotlight PA at the Fitler Club (1 S. 24th Street) on Monday, March 25 from 6-8pm (reception at 5:30pm) for a free public event where a panel of expert moderators, including 6abc’s Matt O’Donnell, will interview our 2024 Pennsylvania Attorney General candidates, including:

Eugene DePasquale, former Auditor General

Keir Bradford-Grey, former Philadelphia Chief Public Defender

Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County District Attorney

Jared Solomon, Northeast Philly State Representative

Joe Khan, former Bucks County Solicitor

Drinks available for purchase by credit card only. Free entry, but registration is required.



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You Know There’s an AG’s Race, Right?

The office of Attorney General might be the last line of defense for the Commonwealth against oncoming autocracy. So shouldn’t we pay attention to the candidates who want the job?

You Know There’s an AG’s Race, Right?

The office of Attorney General might be the last line of defense for the Commonwealth against oncoming autocracy. So shouldn’t we pay attention to the candidates who want the job?

Quick: Can you name who’s running for Attorney General? (Hint: There are five Democrats and two Republicans.)

I didn’t think so. There has been precious little coverage or talk about the race. One candidate recently bemoaned to me just how hard it is for them to get a substantive article in the Inquirer. And — mea culpa — here we are, not seven weeks out, and this is The Citizen’s first look at the race.

We’ll get to the candidates in a minute — it’s actually an impressive field, on both sides of the aisle. But first: What’s the job? Why does it matter?

Let’s start with the former. The AG is often referred to as “the people’s lawyer.” I remember chatting with then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro shortly after he took office in 2017, and him telling me, “There are just so many people who are getting screwed over” — and he was learning that it was his job to do the unscrewing. While the primary role of the office is to represent state agencies in court, its power extends far beyond. AG’s prosecute criminal cases at the state level. They enforce state law. They protect consumer interests. They bring civil actions in cases ranging from environmental protection to antitrust matters to consumer protection.

In the last few decades — starting perhaps with Eliot Spitzer in New York — AG offices have catapulted its occupants to higher office, because of the populist nature of the office’s caseload. There is political currency when, as “the people’s lawyer,” you take on moneyed or otherwise entrenched interests. Ask banks, brokerage firms and pharma companies how they feel about Democratic AGs — they’ll be just as unhappy as the architects of Obamacare are of Republican AGs. “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said when he was that state’s AG.

Still, it’s a job that matters now more than ever. When one of the (gulp) nation’s leading presidential candidates has talked about terminating the Constitution, using the Justice Department to punish his political opponents, and deploying U.S. troops on domestic soil, who will be standing in the way of such Putinism? Who, in other words, will stand for the Rule of Law? Elected AGs, that’s who.

Democratic AGs sued the Trump administration more than 130 times, about  double the total of AG lawsuits under Obama or Bush. Republican AGs are suing Biden at roughly the same pace.

Yes, you could argue much of that is just politics; in some cases that’s right. After all, as a candidate, New York Attorney General Letitia James ran on the promise that “I will never be afraid to challenge this illegitimate president,” referring to Trump. Worse, 18 Republican Attorneys General ridiculously tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In partnership with 6abc and Spotlight PA, and as part of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s Every Voice, Every Vote project, we’ll be holding an Ultimate Job Interview of the Attorney General candidates.

But AGs may be all we got, folks, if we devolve into a de facto civil war and states’ rights are trampled by an overreaching federal government — as Trump’s 2025 governing plan seems to call for.

So, given the stakes, you’d think there’d be some interest in this year’s campaign for the job, no? Well, the primary election is seven weeks away and there’s kinda been…crickets. More than just naming the candidates — do you know any differences among them?

Coverage of Biden falling or Trump confusing Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi drowns it all out. Even the McCormick/Casey Senate race, another important seat, seems to get more air time. (Search “Attorney General’s Election” on, one of the state’s premier landing spots for political news, and what comes up is a 2014 story about the race between Democrat Kathleen Kane and Republican Dave Freed.)

That’s why, in partnership with 6abc and Spotlight PA, and as part of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s Every Voice, Every Vote project, we’ll be holding an Ultimate Job Interview of the Attorney General candidates on March 25 at Fitler Club. You may recall we did this for the mayoral primary last year: It’s not a debate, but a chance to go deep with candidates responding to questions from a panel of smart interlocutors about the actual skill set needed to do the job

Reserve your seat for the AG Ultimate Job Interview here.

The Democrats

Eugene DePasquale

Having already run and won statewide, the former two-term Auditor General likely leads the pack in name recognition. As the Commonwealth’s chief watchdog, DePasquale made headlines issuing groundbreaking reports that unearthed over 3,000 untested rape kits; three years later, that number had been reduced by 90 percent. He also uncovered 42,000 unanswered calls to the state child abuse hotline. Both of these reports led to significant changes in policies. A former three-term state rep, DePasquale came up short in his challenge to Congressman (and election denier) Scott Perry in 2020.

While he lacks prosecutorial experience, DePasquale argues that his insider Harrisburg knowledge gives him a leg up. Also to his advantage is his Pittsburgh base in a race overrun with Southeastern PA candidates. He’s received numerous endorsements, especially from the Western part of the state, like the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and the Central PA Building Trades. As AG, DePasquale says he will focus on reducing gun crime, increasing consumer protections such as student loan and healthcare access, and protecting LGBTQ and transgender youth in school.

Keir Bradford-Grey

The former Philadelphia Chief Public Defender, Bradford-Grey is the progressive prosecutor of the bunch, with the backing of The Working Families Party and EMILY’S List, among others. If elected, she’d be the first Black woman and the first public defender to occupy the AG’s office.

In Philadelphia, Bradford-Grey started the city’s pre-entry initiative that replaces cash bail with community services. Over a decade ago, she was appointed by then-County Commissioner Josh Shapiro as Chief Defender for Montgomery County, a connection she has touted in her campaign. Today, Bradford-Grey is announcing the support of State Senators Vincent Hughes and Anthony Williams; City Councilmembers Curtis Jones, Quetcy Lozada and Jamie Gauthier, and Laborers Local 332 Business Manager Sam Staten, Jr. and Laborers Local 57 Business Manager Esteban Vera.

If elected, Bradford-Grey will focus on strong consumer protections and criminal justice reform. The question for Bradford-Grey: After the debacle of Krasner in Philly and Allegheny County’s recent rejection of a progressive prosecutor, has the tide turned on the movement?

Jack Stollsteimer

In 2019, Stollsteimer was the first Democrat elected to District Attorney in Delaware County history, a position he still holds. He’s demonstrated a blue collar appeal, owing to his Upper Darby upbringing in a union household. One of only two prosecutors among the Democratic candidates, Stollsteimer has made a name for himself as a pragmatic progressive, implementing the Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods program, which has led to a stunning 68 percent reduction in gun-related homicides.

He has said his top priorities in office would be stopping wage theft of workers and reducing gun violence. He’s received a number of union endorsements, including IBEW Local 98 and the Philadelphia Building Trades Council. He was also the top vote-getter during Democratic conventions in southeastern Pennsylvania, garnering party endorsements in Chester and Delaware counties, and coming close in Montgomery, too.

Jared Solomon

Northeast Philly State Representative Jared Solomon has been an outspoken advocate for good government since his 2016 election and has shown a willingness to work across party lines. He has introduced legislation to open Pennsylvania’s primary elections to nonpartisan voters and, after Philadelphia Councilmember Bobby Henon was convicted of public corruption, introduced a measure that would allow PA voters to recall elected officials.

He’s a former JAG officer and a prodigious fundraiser, and currently sits as the majority chair of the House Veteran Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee. Solomon passed a bill in 2022 to provide 10-year tax abatements to developers who build affordable housing and repair homes. Like Stollsteimer, DePasquale and Bradford-Grey, Solomon has racked up endorsements, including the support of 19 of his State House colleagues.

Joe Khan

You may remember Khan from his impressive run for Philadelphia DA in 2017, when he was endorsed by former Governor (and former DA) Ed Rendell and finished second in the Democratic primary to Larry Krasner. He’s since served as Bucks County Solicitor, where he has sued social media companies and fought Trump’s challenges to his county’s mail-in ballots in the 2020 election.

A former Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia and a one-time federal prosecutor, Khan joins Stollsteimer as the only experienced prosecutors among the Democratic field. Khan’s family immigrated from Pakistan, and he has stressed that, as AG, he’d connect with immigrant communities across the state.

Khan prioritizes affordable healthcare, access to abortion (he wrote an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court), and he has pledged to form a housing justice unit. Kahn has been endorsed by the Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance and State Sens. Katie Muth, Nikil Saval and Steve Santarsiero, and 15 state representatives, among others.

The Republicans

David Sunday

Since 2018, Sunday has been District Attorney of York County, where he served as chief deputy prosecutor under his predecessor. He gained notoriety after being appointed special assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to prosecute federal gang, gun and drug cases. As DA, he’s prioritized taking on the opioid epidemic, reforming the probation and parole system, and combating human trafficking. As AG, he’d be similarly law-enforcement focused. The state Republican Party has endorsed him.

Craig Williams

Representing the 160th District of the State House, which covers parts of Chester and Delaware Counties, Williams is a highly decorated Marine who served as the impeachment manager against Larry Krasner in the House. He has even compared his Republican opponent, David Sunday, to Krasner. Williams served as deputy legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was a federal prosecutor, as well. Losing the Republican endorsement to Sunday hasn’t deterred Williams, who says we need an AG who “focuses on prosecution, not political posturing.”


Top row from left: Keir Bradford-Grey, Dave Sunday, Joe Khan, Jack Stollsteimer. Bottom row from left: Jared Solomon, Eugene DePasquale, Craig Williams

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