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Khan touts experience in AG race

Joe Khan

Bustleton native Joe Khan is one of five Democrats running on Tuesday for state attorney general.

Khan – who attended Greenberg Elementary School, Baldi Middle School and Central High School – likes to say he is the son of a Muslim dad and a Catholic mom who grew up in a Jewish neighborhood.

He is a former Philadelphia assistant district attorney, assistant U.S. attorney and Bucks County solicitor.

In 2017, he ran for Philadelphia DA, finishing second to Larry Krasner in a seven-way primary.

Khan believes he has a stronger background than his four primary opponents.

“If you put it all together, I have unmatched experience over 24 years,” he said.

Other candidates are state Rep. Jared Solomon, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and former Defender Association of Philadelphia chief Keir Bradford-Grey.

The Republicans are York County District Attorney Dave Sunday and state Rep. Craig Williams.

If he wins the primary, Khan believes his 16-year prosecutorial background will make it hard for the Republican nominee to label him as soft on crime. 

“That’s not going to work with me,” he said, adding that he has more experience than both Republicans.

State Rep. Joe Hohenstein is among Khan’s supporters.

Khan also has the support of his brother, Tarik, a state representative.

When Khan, a father of two, worked as Bucks solicitor, he said he worked closely with then-District Attorney Matt Weintraub, a Republican.

If elected attorney general, he plans to work with attorneys general from around the country.

“The sky’s the limit with the good you can do,” he said. “I have a unique understanding of the powers of the AG’s office.”

Khan is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where one of his professors was Barack Obama.

Today, he is a partner at Curtin and Heefner in Bucks County.

As he looks to election day, Khan – who lives in Central Bucks County – will be counting on support from the Bucks County Democratic Committee.

Though there are two Philadelphians – Solomon and Bradford-Grey – in the race, Khan expects to do well in the city.

Khan said he has a vision for the office that will eliminate the “enthusiasm gap” some observers see plaguing Democrats this year.

As an example, Khan easily won endorsements from most of Philadelphia’s so-called “open wards,” where committee people are permitted to vote in the endorsement process rather than the ward leader dictating which candidate the ward will back. In one of those open wards, Khan received the nod unanimously.

If elected, Khan plans to start a housing justice unit, which he said is needed for urban, suburban and rural parts of Philadelphia.

Khan believes Philadelphia should be permitted to enact its own “common-sense” gun laws.

As for Act 40, which empowers the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to prosecute crimes committed on or near SEPTA property, he labels it a Republican “political stunt.”

A better answer, he said, would be for the legislature to provide SEPTA with more funding for public safety measures.

Gun violence needs to be addressed, he said.

When he was a federal prosecutor, he worked with government agencies and community groups to try to lower the rate of gun crimes.

“We can make a really big impact,” he said. “I want to help Philadelphia and everywhere else in Pennsylvania.” ••

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