Philadelphia

Liberal Billionaire George Soros Has Entered Delco Politics. It’s More Momentum for Democrats Who Now Outnumber Republicans

Delaware County, in the Philadelphia suburbs, has been trending blue for two decades. Now, it's attracted the attention of a billionaire on a crusade to reform criminal justice in the United States.

What to Know

  • George Soros, who made billions on Wall Street, has donated $32 billion of his $40 billion fortune to his charitable foundation.
  • Soros, and others like Malcolm Jenkins, are on a crusade to get reform-minded liberal prosecutors elected across the United States.
  • Delaware County has been steadily getting more Democratic since 2000. Republicans are now outnumbered by 30,000.

A billionaire political activist largely credited with getting Larry Krasner elected district attorney in Philadelphia is back in local southeastern Pennsylvania politics, and he's targeting a county that has been trending more and more blue the last two decades.

George Soros, who is on a crusade to reform criminal justice by getting liberal local prosecutors elected, has jumped into the Delaware County district attorney's race. A super PAC has filed a campaign finance report showing $90,049 spent in support of Jack Stollsteimer, a Democrat challenging the current DA, Republican Kat Copeland.

The election is Nov. 5.

The political action committee is called Pennsylvania Justice & Public Safety PAC, and it's run by the same operatives who ran a PAC that spent $1.5 million in 2017 in support of Krasner.

Soros, who made his billions after starting a hedge fund, gave $1 million to the new Super PAC to potentially spend in Pennsylvania politics. The 88-year-old is estimated to be worth about $8 billion. He has already donated $32 billion to his Open Society Foundations organization.

Delaware County has been getting steadily more Democratic for the entire 21st century, according to Pennsylvania voter registration data. Republican voters have decreased by 70,000 since their peak of 227,000 in 2000. Democratic voters, on the other hand, have increased more than 80,000. Take a look:

Another graphic of voter totals since 2014 — the first year Democrats outnumbered Republicans — shows the diverging fortunes of each political party in the suburban Philadelphia county.

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The district attorney's race is not the only significant one on the ballot in Delaware County next week. Three seats on the five-member County Council are also in play, and will answer a lot of questions about the strength of the local Republican Party in the face of declining voter totals.

Two years ago, two Democrats beat Republican incumbents for two seats on the Council. It was the first time Democrats were elected to the governing body in decades. The remaining three Republicans on the council are up for election next week.

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