CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Anthony Williams has by far the most financial backing of anyone else seeking the democratic nomination in the race for Philadelphia mayor.
Three Main Line financial traders could ultimately spend up to 4-million dollars, mainly in TV ads, to promote Williams' candidacy. The backers are crusaders for charter schools. While their money helps the Pennsylvania state senator it is also a curse. His rivals claim he is bought and paid for by those who have embraced charter schools as a mission.
Williams says, "For a decade I've interacted with a lot of different people who have a lot of different perspectives on public education and I don't run away from it."
He added, "The reality is I've supported public schools. I'll continue to support public schools. I do have an interest in charter schools. They happen to have an interest in charter schools, so be it."
Williams shared his vision of what his administration would be talking about to reduce poverty and create jobs. "You talk about an energy hub. I talk about small business. I talk about technology. All three of those areas are literally on the verge of exploding in Philadelphia."
To promote investment, he says Philadelphia must end its heavy dependency on the wage tax. He says, "40 percent of our revenue comes from the wage tax. Those who want to bring in business in Philadelphia don't and those who have promising careers probably don't stay."
Williams says he would scuttle Mayor Michael Nutter's stop and frisk policy.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey stays as police commissioner if he wants to, says Williams.
He wants body cameras for all cops and more surveillance cameras in more high-crime areas if he wins the election.
Williams says he will negotiate new character clause rules in future police contracts to fire cops who publicly express racial, gender or religious bigotry.
"Part of solving crime is a community that wants to work with a police officer," says Williams.
Here in the home stretch, Anthony Williams has the superior resources to wage war over the airwaves. The question is will he have the ground troops to turn out the voters he needs on May 19th? His base has been West Philadelphia.
We'll learn how much he can expand his support across town.
Anthony Williams Mayoral Candidate Profile