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2021 primary election: Endorsement guide

The Inquirer’s Editorial Board vetted candidates in key races across the state to help you decide who to vote for.

Prior to each election, the Inquirer’s Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, identifies the races where an endorsement can help readers understand where candidates stand on issues and why we think voters should support (or not support) a particular candidate.

We think all elections are important and try to cover as many as we can. In elections like the 2021 primary, with many races and candidates, we have to make the hard decision to limit our endorsements to highly competitive races and local ballot questions. This means that unfortunately, we did not have the capacity to endorse in this year’s lower court races. A lack of an endorsement is not judgment on the office or the race.

We research the candidates’ backgrounds through our own reporting, as well as the work of our newsroom colleagues.

The Board hosts meetings with candidates running in contested races, where we ask them about their stance on the issues we think are most important to their constituents. This year, we held virtual meetings with them on Zoom. The meetings are on the record, and political reporters and editors are invited to participate, but they do not weigh in on the endorsement process.

We invite your comments on this process and our endorsements at opinion@inquirer.com. If you’d like your comments to be considered for our letters to the editor page, please include your address and phone number (not for publication) so we can verify your identity.

District Attorney: Larry Krasner

A complex, relatively recent spike in gun violence isn’t a reason to return to the mass incarceration regime of yesteryear, but a challenge to do better. We believe the present DA, Larry Krasner, is also the district attorney for Philadelphia’s future, with bold ideas that hopefully he will better execute with more experience under his belt. We endorse him for another term.

» Read the full Inquirer endorsement of Larry Krasner in the 2021 primary.

Pa. Supreme Court: Judge Kevin Brobson

The best choice in the Republican Supreme Court primary is Judge Kevin Brobson.
With Judge Brobson, voters know what they are going to get: a conservative jurist who will rule with limited government and a limited judiciary in mind. In his endorsement interview, he discussed the importance of clearly written opinions so that all Pennsylvanians can understand the law and what it means. This a value that we share. Brobson was elected by his Commonwealth Court peers as President Judge last year, a meaningful vote of confidence.
Inquirer Editorial Board

» Read the full Inquirer endorsement of Judge Kevin Brobson in the 2021 primary.

Lower courts

In Philadelphia, voters will select judicial candidates for Municipal and Common Pleas Courts. We have not interviewed candidates, so we are making no endorsements in these races. However, the Philadelphia Bar Association has a rigorous vetting process, and we recommend you review their findings at judges.philadelphiabar.org.

Their highly recommended judges in the Court of Common Pleas are Chris Hall, Michele Hangley, Nick Kamau, Mark J. Moore, and John R. Padova.

Ballot questions

  1. Question 1 on disaster declaration power: No

  2. Question 2 on disaster declaration power: No

  3. Question 3 on prohibiting discrimination: Yes

  4. Question 4 on funding fire departments: Yes

  5. Question 5 on expanding L&I review board: Yes (Philly only)

» Read the full list of Inquirer endorsements for ballot questions in the 2021 primary.