Daniel Muroff, a Philadelphia area native and former legislative aide and chief of staff in Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. is running for the state’s second congressional district.
The district includes most of Main Campus, the entire Health Sciences Campus and other sections of Philadelphia.
Muroff is running against Democrats Brian Gordon and Dwight Evans, Republican James Jones, and Democrat Chaka Fattah—who has represented the district for more than 20 years.
Muroff said he’s running for the second congressional district because he believes his progressive voice could provide the changes people want made in the district.
“This district overall aligns with my own philosophies,” Muroff said. “When I speak to my values, I speak to my concern for criminal justice reform, for environmental stewardship, for gun violence prevention, and for more equitable investment in public education.”
Muroff, who is from Havertown, graduated from Drexel University with degrees in History and Political Science. He also attended the Illinois Institute of Technology and and obtained his J.D. from the Chicago Kent College of Law.
Later, Muroff became the president of the CeaseFire PA board, a statewide group of public servants working together to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania.
Muroff said he wants reduce gun violence by ending the flow of illegal weapons into communities.
“The paralysis in Washington stood in the way of advancing sensible legislation that could make some measured advancement of repairing or mitigating some of the harm,” Muroff said. “My goal is not to infringe the law abiding citizens right to bear arms. My goal is to take illegal guns off the streets.”
According to the F.B.I.’s 2014 Crime in the United States report, 453 of Pennsylvania’s 609 murders were done by a firearm. In addition, in 2014, 1,047 gun related crimes occurred in Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.
Muroff added he would fight for mandatory national background checks before purchasing a gun and close the loophole of buying guns at gun shows.
He also wants to boost the minimum wage to $15 per hour in order to create more economic opportunity and help the middle class.
“The reality is that the economy lifts up overall if people are making enough money to survive so they can buy stuff and have an economy that grows,” Muroff said. “That’s why we have stagnation in our economy. So many people are paid so little because we have a minimum wage that is at this point meaningless.”
Muroff believes his involvement in the community and experience in D.C. is what separates him from the other candidates.
As the president and board member of the East Mt. Airy Neighbors, a community organization, Muroff assisted the community with crime and other issues in the neighborhood. He also was the secretary of the board of Mt. Airy USA, where he helped economic development, housing and real estate in the community.
Despite Fattah facing federal racketeering charges, Muroff doesn’t think the charges will have a direct impact on his chances of winning the district.
Residents of Pennsylvania’s second congressional district can cast their votes in the primary on April 26.
Thomas Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ignudo5.