PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s primary day in Pennsylvania. And in Philadelphia, all eyes are on the race for district attorney.
There’s a lot of excitement in the air on the Democratic ticket for Philadelphia district attorney.READ MORE: 2 Atlantic City Councilmembers Request State Troopers Assist Police After Violent Weekend
Both candidates on the Democratic ticket for district attorney have been trying to create a lot of excitement for today’s primary. But at a polling place at the Community Partnership School in North Philadelphia, there were no lines of people waiting to vote.
The turnout appears to be dismal across the city and still, the Democratic candidates for district attorney were out and about — and energized.
“I feel great, I’m very excited,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
Krasner says he is confident in his campaign as he voted at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Center City.
“It’s important because it’s been framed nationally as whether progressive prosecution is going to keep marching forward,” Krasner said.
Krasner, the incumbent, has become a superstar to some for his progressive policies, but they’ve also earned him a lot of criticism.
Eyewitness News was also on candidate Carlos Vega’s turf at 16th and Jackson Streets in South Philly where Vega voted Tuesday morning. As Vega walked out of his polling place, he said he was ready to build bridges between the city’s communities and with police.
“The changes I can bring are reform and safety,” Vega said. “There are issues that we need to reform, absolutely. But we can do it with common sense. But we also need safety.”
Vega is a former Philly prosecutor. He faces incumbent Larry Krasner, who Eyewitness News also caught up with on Tuesday at his polling place in Center City. Krasner says he’s feeling confident in his campaign for DA after voting Tuesday morning.READ MORE: 6 Day Workweeks And Poked By Needles: YaFavTrashman Fighting For Philadelphia Sanitation Workers' Safety
“Philadelphia’s watching, other places in the country are watching the same way they watched certain elections last year and the year before. It’s important because it’s been framed nationally as being a test of whether progressive prosecution is gonna keep marching forward,” Krasner said. “10% of the United States has elected a progressive prosecutor and re-elected a progressive prosecutor. This is a sea change.”
.@DA_LarryKrasner is speaking with reporters after voting in today’s primaries. He’s up for reelection, but critics are hitting him on the city’s surging crime rate. Polls are open until 8pm @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/ABPBOaWkU7
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeNews) May 18, 2021
Vega said, “Look at the murder rate since he [Krasner] took office. Last year, 499, and if things don’t slow down, we’re gonna have 600 murders [this year]. So we’re gonna have to work with the community, work with the police to save our children. We can’t have this.”
For some voters, the city’s gun violence brought them to the polls.
“I just hope and pray that children can walk safely and sit on their porch in Philadelphia for now on” South Philadelphia resident Rita Gisondo said. “And I think there’s a clear candidate who will ensure that who has a track record of prosecuting homicides.”
Still, other voters want a district attorney who has shown he’ll reform the system.
“I’m not saying all cops are dirty or bad, but we got some and they need to be accountable for the things they do,” resident Yvette Wilson said.MORE NEWS: Police: 2 Teens In Car Shot At Red Light In Philadelphia's Olney Neighborhood
Polls close at 8 p.m. If you have not yet voted, for all the information you need to know before heading to the polls — check out CBS Philly’s Voter Guide: Pennsylvania Primary Election 2021.