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Candidate 101

Who is Jack Stollsteimer, a Democrat running for Pa. attorney general?

by Félicie Jungels, Maya Mehrara, and Sophia Takla for Spotlight PA |

Democratic attorney general candidate Jack Stollsteimer
Courtesy candidate website

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HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania voters will elect a new attorney general this November, but Democrats and Republicans first must pick their candidates this spring.

Jack Stollsteimer is one of five Democrats running for his party’s nomination and will appear on the April 23 primary ballot.

The attorney general represents the interests of the state and the public, and defends Pennsylvania’s laws in court. In recent years, the office has defended the results of the 2020 presidential election against numerous attempts to overturn them.

Learn more about Stollsteimer below.

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Who is Jack Stollsteimer?


A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, Stollsteimer graduated from Thomas Edison State University and Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.

Stollsteimer previously served as an assistant district attorney in Delaware County. He later was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he led a gun violence task force.

He was appointed by former Gov. Ed Rendell to be the Safe Schools Advocate in Philadelphia then did two stints at the Pennsylvania Treasury: first as deputy chief counsel and director of the Bureau of Unclaimed Property, then as deputy state treasurer for Consumer Programs, according to this Linkedin.

He also worked in the private sector for several years as assistant managing director at Verus Financial, a financial planning firm.

Stollsteimer was elected Delaware County district attorney in 2019, defeating the incumbent Republican and becoming the first Democrat to hold the position.

During a recent debate, Stollsteimer highlighted his role in deprivatizing the county prison and lowering the number of people who are incarcerated there as major accomplishments.

He also cited a reduction in gun violence in the city of Chester. In October 2023, his office said that there had been a 68% reduction in gun homicides since 2020 when it launched a safe neighborhoods program.

"We want to work hand in glove with the community to solve the problems they know we can do together, and we can only solve them together," Stollsteimer said at a news conference when announcing the statistic.

In 2022, Stollsteimer’s job performance was criticized by members of the Delaware County Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration, which had been an ally during his first campaign, according to WHYY. Among the issues cited by the group was the office’s response to the death of 8-year-old Fanta Bility, who was shot by police as they fired into a crowd outside a high school football game.

Stollsteimer’s office initially charged two teens who were the source of the nearby gunfire that prompted police to shoot with first-degree murder; those charges were later withdrawn. Three officers pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment as part of a deal that saw manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter charges dropped.

Top issues: In a campaign announcement, Stollsteimer said he will make communities safer, repair the criminal justice system, protect abortion rights, and promote environmental and economic justice.

When asked how he would address violent crime during a March debate, Stollsteimer said he would focus on preventing people who shouldn’t have firearms from having them.

“We can't arrest our way out of these problems,” he said. “We have to bring the community and police together and find those common-ground solutions.”

Endorsements: the Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council, the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, and the Teamsters Joint Council 53.

>>READ MORE: A complete guide to the primary candidates for attorney general

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