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Tony Williams building support for a 2015 mayoral run

State Sen. Anthony Williams held a meeting Friday afternoon with various city, labor and business leaders to sell them on the idea of why he would be a good mayoral candidate in 2015. Williams hired Washington D.C.-based 270 Strategies — made up largely of people who worked on both Obama campaigns — to run his senate reelection campaign but also to prepare for a likely 2015 run.

State Sen. Anthony Williams held a meeting Friday afternoon with various city, labor and business leaders to sell them on the idea of why he would be a good mayoral candidate in 2015.

Williams hired Washington D.C.-based 270 Strategies — made up largely of people who worked on both Obama campaigns — to run his senate reelection campaign but also to prepare for a likely 2015 run.

"Today was the first gathering of significant folks who have surrounded me in the last few years to say we would be interested in you running for mayor and reveal to them what I've been working on the last few years," Williams said after the meeting and presentation.

The gathering, held at the Hilton on City Avenue, was closed off to the press.

"A lot of major personalities were here," Williams said later.

Some of the people in attendance Friday included City Council members Curtis Jones, Jannie Blackwell and Kenyatta Johnson. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and former mayoral candidate Tom Knox were in attendance too.

Will any of them support Anthony Williams for mayor?

"I think so," Knox said as he left the meeting. He read off a list of points Williams made that resonated with him.

"He said 'You can't learn when you are sick and hungry,'" Knox said.

Williams also later said that a big focus of his is poverty.

"We need to stop talking at each other and look at 30 percent poverty," level in the city, Williams said. "It's endemic of the culture of the city."

Jeremy Bird, partner at 270 Strategies, said that a modern 21st century Williams for mayor campaign would need to have a big grassroots base.

"Hearing from them the challenges and the opportunities that are in the city and what kind of true leader the city needs in 2015," Bird said.

What kind of leader is that?

"You need someone who can build coalitions," Williams said, then hinted at his ability to do that. "You had labor sitting next to big business in this room."

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