(This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.)
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer is running for Pennsylvania attorney general, according to social media postings related to his recent attendance at a political breakfast in the southwest corner of the commonwealth.
A Facebook post from the Westmoreland County Democrats’ page for its “Committee Appreciation Breakfast” earlier this month noted that “Jack Stollsteimer for Attorney General” was a “Gold Star Sponsor.”
A photo from the group also shows Stollsteimer at the event, sitting at a banquet table that is appropriately close to the podium for a “gold” sponsor.
Although the attorney general’s race won’t appear on the ballot until next year, the reverberations could be felt as early as this November. Stollsteimer is currently running to keep his job as Delco’s district attorney, but he hasn’t yet made his intentions about future ambitions known to his constituents. In essence, Stollsteimer hasn’t told Delaware County residents that if things go the way he hopes, he’ll only be back on the job for about another year.
Requests for comment were not returned. Broad + Liberty emailed requests for comment to Stollsteimer’s spokesperson at his government office, and also to an email associated with his campaign website. In addition, Broad + Liberty texted its request for comment to Stollsteimer, his campaign chair, and treasurer, using phone numbers taken from a recent campaign finance report.
Stollsteimer’s sponsorship of the breakfast on the other side of the state also raises reporting issues.
According to a Department of State FAQ, someone’s candidacy is officially triggered when the person “makes an expenditure…to influence his/her nomination or election to office.” Assuming that the breakfast sponsorships required monetary donations, his candidacy is official with or without an announcement.
Stollsteimer faces Republican Beth Stefanide-Miscichowski in the election now just nineteen days away.
Stefanide-Mischichowski, a former assistant district attorney in Delaware County, has been hammering Stollsteimer on the county’s homicide rate. And in the wake of an inmate escape in neighboring Chester County earlier this year that captivated the nation, she’s raising other criminal justice issues, such as calling for an investigation into the February death of an inmate at the county prison.
The race for the Democratic attorney general nomination was already crowded even before the knowledge that Stollsteimer will eventually join the fray.
Jared Solomon and Keir Bradford-Gray, Democrats with Philadelphia ties, have already announced. Eugene DePasquale, the former auditor general and also state representative, is also an announced candidate and was listed as a silver-level sponsor at the Westmoreland breakfast.
Stollsteimer came into office in January 2020 after winning in the 2019 election. His was one of several campaigns that sometimes caught national attention because liberal billionaire George Soros spent a six-figure sum to boost Stollsteimer.
Stollsteimer also ran for attorney general for the 2016 election. Governor Josh Shapiro went on to eventually win that contest.