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 general, 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like your comments to be considered for our letters to the editor page, please include your address and phone number (not for publication) so we can verify your identity.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

The Inquirer Editorial Board endorsed Larry Krasner for in the May primary. After meeting with his Republican opponent, lawyer Chuck Peruto, the board stands behind our initial endorsement of Krasner for the general election.

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.
Inquirer Editorial Board

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

Supreme Court: Maria McLaughlin

A Philadelphian and first generation college student, McLaughlin is passionate about the rights of women and children, which were often a focus of her work as a Family Court judge in the city. Her election would create for the first time a majority of women on a court that has historically been dominated by men.
McLaughlin talks proudly about serving on the Court of Common Pleas while also being a single mother, an experience that she says informs her commitment to public service. While McLaughlin, like nearly all judicial candidates, avoids talking in specifics about issues that may come before her court, her record in Family Court and the Pennsylvania Superior Court, where she’s served since 2018, offer a strong indication of how she would perform on the bench.
Inquirer Editorial Board

» READ MORE: Read the full Inquirer endorsement of Judge Maria McLaughlin in the 2021 general election.

Lower courts

In Philadelphia, voters will select judicial candidates for Superior and Commonwealth Courts, among others.

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.

Ballot questions

Question 1 (cannabis): Yes

Question 2 (fleet services): Yes

Question 3 (civil service): Yes

Question 4 (Housing Trust Fund): No

» READ MORE: Read The Inquirer's full list of ballot question endorsements for the 2021 general election.

City Controller

Philadelphia’s City Controller, Rebecca Rhynhart, is running unopposed in the general election. In 2017, the Editorial Board endorsed Rhynhart, who previously served as city treasurer, budget director, and chief administrative officer before being elected the controller’s office. The board stands by this endorsement today.