District Attorney Matt Fogal has announced his run for re-election.
I have served as a prosecutor in Franklin County for over 20 years and have had the honor of being the elected District Attorney since 2009. I have sworn multiple oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Pennsylvania Constitution, and my sole, solemn duty is to seek JUSTICE. My duty is certainly not to a political party. It never was and never will be. When I first took office, I was a registered Independent with no party affiliation. Today, I have come full circle and am once again a registered Independent and have had no affiliation with a political party over the past two years.
There has been some interest in whether I am running for re-election in 2023, and whether I will run as an Independent. The answer to both questions is…yes.
Like most citizens, I have had more than enough of politics, but I have chosen not to walk away at this time. “Duty” is an extraordinarily important value of mine, and now more than ever, I firmly believe that our community deserves to know that their District Attorney is truly independent, objective and rock steady through these divided and hyper-polarized times. The tribalism in our country has been brought upon us by an electoral system which makes us choose between just two sides…Republican or Democrat. And more than ever, reckless party leaders demand that the “other side” must be despised. This chaos is causing harm to our communities and our society, and cannot be sustained.
I am an American. I choose no other “tribe.” And as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer, my focus is on our community’s safety and security rather than partisan politics.
The truth is that the majority of our citizens are in fact Independent like me, and one in two of my fellow veterans in Pennsylvania is Independent. Yet we all continue to be subjected to a truly rigged system where we are unable to vote in closed primary elections year after year after year. Because of this construct, so many of us make the choice to join a party, just so we are able to vote in a primary and exercise perhaps the most important right we have as Americans, the right to VOTE. Radical change is needed, as the binary, two-party system is being used to rip us apart and make us hate each other.
There is another way and we are begging for it. I have assembled a non-partisan coalition and we will be making a more formal announcement in the coming weeks. We welcome fellow Independents, along with Republicans, Democrats and any other party. I understand the perceived difficulty ahead for an Independent candidate to be elected. Uniquely here though, I am an experienced, authentic and tireless incumbent with a proven record of substantial accomplishments in combatting violent crime, child abuse and the opioid/fentanyl crisis. Consider the stakes: if you or your loved one was the victim of a violent crime or even murder, who would you want in the courtroom seeking justice before a jury? Someone perhaps put forth recklessly by a political “tribe,” so they can gain or keep political “power,” or someone whose authentic commitment, personal talent and skill as a litigator is well-recognized? Unfortunately, this is not necessarily a rhetorical question. This is a serious job with life and death consequences.
Many joined my call to put “country over party.” Now let us all stop talking and actually do it. Onward.