If State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams truly has an interest in running for mayor in May, two men this morning sought to nudge him to do otherwise - Mayor Nutter and District Attorney Seth Williams.
The pair appeared this morning at a news conference in which Seth Williams announced his support of Nutter's election to a second term.
But just as noteworthy were comments both men made to reporters in regard to the senator's possible candidacy.
Twice, Nutter called Anthony Williams "a man of his word," noting that the senator last year had vowed to support the mayor for reelection, right after Anthony Williams lost his primary bid for governor. "Senator Anthony Hardy Williams is a very, very good friend of mine," Nutter said. "I respect him tremendously... and he has indicated to me he will be supporting me."
He added, "People say any number of things in a political season."
Then it was Seth Williams' turn.
He talked about how he and Nutter ran into each other nearly every evening at various community events, and how the two of them had worked together to help prevent crime, which Seth Williams said was more important than "mere crime prosecution."
He then seemed to suggest that Anthony Williams - who was a chief supporter of Seth Williams in his hard fought primary for DA - was dipping his toe in the mayoral waters now, but really wants to take a swim in the next mayoral race in 2015. "A lot of people want to be mayor. A lot of people dream of being mayor. But it is a very, very difficult job." Reiterating that point, he at the end of the news conference again said, "A lot of people can possibly be great mayors one day."
Seth Williams also talked about common traits he and Nutter shared regarding their "independence," and segued into this comment: "My father wasn't the mayor or the governor or anything like that." It wasn't clear to what he was referring, but Anthony Williams, of course, took over the Senate seat of his father, Hardy Williams, a longtime state Senator and House member whom Gov. Rendell once called “the father of independent African American politicians” in the city.
Finally, Nutter and Seth Williams simply tried to paint themselves as regular guys - "two boys from Cobbs Creek," Seth Williams said.
Nutter expanded on that later, saying he and both Williams' were, "Just three black guys from West Philly."
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