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Richard Negrin
Richard Negrin

Negrin Throws His Hat in the Ring

Rich Negrin runs for DA.

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Former managing director under Mayor Michael Nutter, Richard Negrin announced today that he will be running for District Attorney of Philadelphia for 2017. As the longest serving managing director in Philadelphia History, Negrin’s experience and political clout cannot be denied.

Starting his career in the District Attorney’s office, serving as Assistant District Attorney from 1995 to 2000, Negrin is no stranger to city government.

“I have a love for not just the city of Philadelphia and our community, which I think is obvious, but also a love for the office,” said Negrin. He served in this position under District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham with Seth Williams who is set to be his primary opponent in the May 16 primary.

Williams, who is set to seek a third term despite a tarnished reputation due to a report in August that concluded he did not report $160,050 in gifts he received over the last five years, worked with Negrin briefly but has not been exempt from backlash from his opponent. Negrin openly spoke about his love for the office and said that he hopes to return it to the “principal, ethical leadership” it deserves across communities.

“Everyday, as I did when I was a young DA, DA’s walk across the city cloaked in the integrity and the moral authority of the office. If that’s compromised from the top, it’s harder for them to do their jobs, and seek justice for our citizens and that’s why integrity matters so much,” said Negrin.

Negrin may be known for his positions in city government but his community involvement is one that can be easily traced throughout his career. Negrin has been an active member of Cease Fire PA, a community organization that is dedicated to taking a stand against gun violence in the city.

This issue is particularly close to Negrin who witnessed the death of his father at the young age of 13. “My dad was killed with a MAC-10 submachine gun that was subject to the assault weapons ban that has now expired, so you can buy the gun that killed my dad on the internet today,” said Negrin.

“There is a proliferation of illegal guns throughout our city that contributes to the violent nature of the crimes we see committed and we really have to work together across the sectors - citizens, police, and leaders - around making a real effort around the issue of gun violence here in Philadelphia. If we don’t have the credibility to work with our federal partners, if we don’t have the credibility to work with our state partners and the Attorney General, we’re not going to be able to do this alone.” said Negrin. This could be a sign of what will come should Negrin get elected - a District Attorney committed to working across communities and building bridges at state and federal levels.

Negrin’s commitment to bridging gaps across communities doesn’t stop and solidifying relationships at the state and federal levels. As the first Latino to run for District Attorney’s office in Philadelphia, Negrin hopes to become a liaison for citizens regardless of their ethnic identity.

“I think it’s important that we are a diverse inclusive government in a diverse inclusive city,” said Negrin. When asked about the impact of his bid and a Latino running for office, Negrin focused on celebrating differences while finding common ground.

“The Latino community is not monolithic. {...} I think we have developed the ability to work across many of our differences and focus on our commonalities, whether you’re Cuban like me, or Puerto Rican, or Mexican, or Dominican, we have to figure out a way to come together and work in a way that makes sense,” said Negrin.

Never denying his Cuban American heritage, Negrin has been very transparent about what led him to pursue his career in law. Having to face his father’s death due to assassination by anti-Castro terrorists who confused Negrin’s father for a communist sympathizer, Negrin has never been a stranger to the effects of guns and the need of our government to keep communities safe.

“I think the first lawyer I ever met was the prosecutor who was handling the care of my dad’s homicide. You know, that was really, my first exposure to the criminal justice system, and trying to get justice. And as I’ve watched over the years, we’re at a point where I’ve looked for an opportunity to serve,” said Negrin.

His announcement has come by no surprise to some, especially those who have been named as a part of his campaign, former Board of Ethics Chair Richard Glazer and Thomas Leonard, chairman and partner of Obermayer, Negrin’s current firm. Those who have been confirmed in Negrin’s campaign have similarly significant and impressive careers with ties to former Govenor Ed Rendell and former President of the United States Bill Clinton.

Despite his political associations, Negrin believes that it is his unique professional experience that will be the key to securing his seat as District Attorney next November.

“I think it’s rare and unique to have the kind of prosecutorial experience combined with the managerial experience that I have - not just as a former city managing director but also as a in the private sector and the public sector - and the integrity that I’ve had working on the ethics board trying to change the culture of city government for the last decade or so combined with the credibility across stakeholders in our community” said Negrin.

Watch Negrin’s campaign announcement at the link below.

 

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