Mayor’s race heats up as Anthony Williams receives high-profile endorsement

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania state Senator Anthony Williams got a major endorsement Thursday in his bid to unseat Mayor Jim Kenney.  

“I’m here today to say that I endorse State Senator Anthony Williams for mayor,” said former Philadelphia Mayor John Street.

Street is the first ex-mayor in memory to buck the incumbent and endorse a challenger for the job. Street also says Kenney hasn’t lived up to his promises on schools and poverty.

Williams accepted the endorsement warmly.

“I’m grateful beyond measure for his public endorsement of my candidacy today,” he said.

Following that comment Williams then oddly, argued against the power of endorsements.

“I’ve been the benefactor of many endorsements and in the last cycle almost everybody endorsed me, right? I’m not sure that translates into votes, voting for mayor,” he said.

That sentiment was echoed by his fellow-challenger, Alan Butkovitz.

“It’s nice to have big name endorsements, but people make their own decision,” he said.

Mayor Kenney, on the other hand, countered with a list of endorsements he’s received from the governor, lieutenant governor, congressional delegation and state senate, and seemed unconcerned by the competition.

“These two candidates are annoying gnats,” he said.

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