AUGUST 7, 2019, LEHIGH COUNTY, PA — Democratic candidate for Lehigh County District Attorney, Jim Moreno, has withdrawn from the race. This decision comes four months after Moreno was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer. Moreno, who found early support with organizations such as Working Families Party and DSA of Lehigh Valley due to his reformer platform, was a capital defense attorney with the Federal Community Defender Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in their Capital Habeas Unit, until deciding to run for District Attorney earlier this year.
“In early spring, I made the decision to leave my job of twenty-one years as a capital defense attorney to pursue the post of Lehigh County District Attorney. My hope was to help bring meaningful criminal justice reform to Lehigh County, a county that desperately needs an infusion of new ideas and a dose of compassion to counter the decades-long lost policies of ‘tough on crime,'” says Moreno.
“In early April, shortly after starting my campaign, I was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer. Despite this diagnosis, I had hoped to continue our work towards a more just Lehigh County.”
In late April, Moreno underwent a surgical procedure to find the cancer in his throat, and in mid-May, had surgery to remove the cancer from his throat and neck. While the surgery was successful, Moreno continues, “The aftermath and subsequent treatment has been the most difficult and challenging time of my life. This fight is all I have the energy to focus on. As a result, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy.”
Moreno filed paperwork with Lehigh County to remove his name from the ballot on Tuesday, August 6. Regarding the decision to withdraw, Moreno says, “The decision to end this campaign was made after careful thought and consultation with family, close friends, my doctors, and my campaign staff. Reaching this point has been a difficult and wrenching process. Fighting for justice is how I have spent my career, and while our pursuit to make fundamental changes to the DA’s office isn’t within reach this year, I know the fight will not end here.”
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