(The Center Square) — Pennsylvania State House Rep. Jared Solomon announced his candidacy for attorney general Tuesday, stepping into a crowded Democratic primary field for 2024.
Solomon, D-Philadelphia, based his candidacy on his work ethic and experience in fighting special interests outside the Max Myers Recreation Center in his northeast Philadelphia district.
“If you are more interested in padding your bottom line than taking care of our communities, as attorney general I am going to come after you,” Solomon said.
He argued that a divide exists between locals concerned about their neighborhood and large business interests that prevent change.
“The biggest obstacle to my work — all my work here in the northeast — was the outsized impact of special interests,” Solomon said. “They’re here at every turn.”
Solomon said the special interests in Pennsylvania were similar to others on the national level: “wayward landlords” who live out of state, companies dumping trash in neighborhoods, and gun manufacturers, among others.
He pointed to his efforts as a state representative in community action like cleaning up trash and putting up street lights to improve safety and reduce crime in northeast Philadelphia.
“What we as Democrats believe is that when we invest in communities, when we believe in government, we — partnering with neighbors — can do great, transformational things,” Solomon said. “I want to bring safe, thriving communities with opportunities for all Pennsylvanians,” he said.
His district, he said, shared problems with other parts of Pennsylvania, be they urban, suburban, or rural.
“The commonalities are really surprising,” he said. “I go to rural Pennsylvania and I talk about trash, I talk about opioids, I talk about all the issues we struggle here as a community face — and they talk about the same thing.”
On opioids, Solomon said he looks toward Colorado as a model in establishing points of contact between users and drug recovery groups.
Solomon joins a number of other Democrats vying for the attorney general nomination as Attorney General Michelle Henry, who said she would not run for a full term after replacing then-AG Josh Shapiro.
Former Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, former Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan, and former Montgomery County Chief Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey have all announced their candidacies.
Solomon spoke highly of Shapiro and Henry; he wants to “continue the great work Josh has done” in expanding the reach of the attorney general.