State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams has secured two key political endorsements in his bid for mayor, from the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity and the black ward leaders' association.
Williams will accept the Black Clergy nod in an event Thursday morning after a prayer breakfast, according to the Rev. Terrence Griffith, group president.
The endorsement comes with an asterisk - former City Councilman James F. Kenney won the majority vote when the group's political committee voted, before the full membership. Griffith confirmed that his group split on the candidates between the committee vote and the full vote.
Williams this week also picked up support from the United Ward Leaders of Color. Edgar "Sonny" Campbell, that group's leader, said Williams won by a vote of 14-5.
"He's got a proven record of delivering for constituents in this city," Campbell said. "And he's got the ability, from his history in Harrisburg, to negotiate for a lot of things the city is going to need from the state."
Williams, a ward leader, is a former chairman of the group.
He called the endorsement important to his campaign to show "momentum of a broad spectrum of support from significant elected leadership around the city."
The so-called racial math - black voters support black candidates, white voters support white candidates - of the May 19 Democratic primary election was shaken up three weeks ago when a group of black elected officials and ward leaders known as the Northwest Coalition endorsed Kenney. Williams responded last week by marshaling his own groups of black elected and former elected officials to tout his campaign.
Endorsements for Williams, Kenney
Williams: The Black Clergy of Philadelphia is to announce its endorsement of Anthony Hardy Williams on Thursday, and the Black Ward Leaders gave its nod this week. B2.
Kenney: Timing their endorsements to Earth Day, the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action Pa., Conservation Voters of Pa. and Penn Environment give their blessing to former City Councilman James F. Kenney. B2.EndText