Philadelphia District Attorney race

May 19, 2009 6:48:12 AM PDT
Daniel McElhatton, the former city councilman, claims the wind is at his back now that he has the endorsement of Mayor Michael Nutter but with the race going to the wire he says he's the victim of smear tactics engineered by rival Dan McCaffery."What we've seen in the last week is picking up a lot of momentum we got the Daily News endorsement, the Mayor's endorsement the end of last week and what we've also seen are the kinds of desperate attacks that folks who are unable to sustain a campaign on their own merits decide to throw mud," said McElhatton.

Seth Williams, the perceived front runner for the Democratic nomination, is backed by the FOP and most of the black clergy. He says he too is being smeared by McCaffery who's backed by labor boss Johnnie Dougherty.

"One of my opponents has spent about $500,000 just attacking me but those attack ads won't get one gun off the street or make one neighborhood safer. I propose real plans that change the criminal justice system in America that's why I'm going to win tomorrow," said Williams.

McCaffery claims he is the injured party in this 3-way smackdown where the mud-slinging has escalated to bloodsport.

"They basically want to say that I'm Johnnie Dougherty's guy and want to make it guilt by association. I'm the union candidate that kind of stuff," said McCaffery.

McCaffery and candidate Michael Turner crossed paths briefly on the campaign trail Monday. Turner, who has not raised much money, says he embodies reform in this convoluted race.

"Guns and how to get them off the street it's about municipal corruption and how we're going to fight it, about youth issues how to make sure our youth aren't committing crime and how to lessen the number of people in prison, that's my message," said Turner.

Brian Grady is staying above the fray in his quest for the Democratic nomination which is typically a guarantee of winning the General Election in the fall. Grady says he will restore law and order to this town.

"We had 10 people shot in this city over the weekend I from day one have been the candidate who's been most capable of stopping that," Grady said.

A voter turnout of 15% citywide Tuesday would startle experts this kind of voter apathy gives the back room party bosses and other powerful interest groups like labor unions the advantage in getting their selections into office.

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