The Brief: Anthony Williams Scores Another Union Endorsement

Plus, Williams places second in a small poll of progressive activists.

Willie Brown

TWU Local 234 president Willie Brown

SEPTA’s Transport Workers Union Local 234 announced Thursday it is endorsing state Sen. Anthony Williams for mayor.

“Throughout his career, Tony Williams has dedicated himself to fighting for the good of all Philadelphians,” said TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown in a statement. “He has been on the front lines working to bring people together. He’s a consensus builder and problem solver with the skills that will be required of the next mayor to meet the challenges of this city.”

Williams also already has the endorsements of the carpenters union and the Teamsters in the bag.

Meanwhile, AFSCME’s District 1199C, the local healthcare workers union, is lining up behind former City Councilman Jim Kenney, who officially jumped into the race this week.

It begs the question, again: Will labor fail to have a unified voice in the 2015 mayor’s race, just as it did in 2007?

Henry Nicholas, president of District 1199C, insists the labor movement will stick together this time. He told us after Kenney’s campaign kickoff Wednesday that he still believes most of the city’s labor unions will eventually throw their support behind Kenney, who powerful electricians union chief John Dougherty has called a “dark horse” candidate.

“I will deliver 99 percent of all the unions to him,” he says. “He has 24 years working [and] voting on all working families issues. There’s not a better voting record on working families issues in City Council than Jim Kenney.”

Along with Nicholas, firefighters union president Joe Schulle attended Kenney’s campaign launch. We didn’t spot Dougherty or any other labor leader there, however (though Dougherty was in City Council’s chambers last week when Kenney resigned to run for mayor).

Don’t Miss …
  • In a poll of 162 progressive activists in Philly conducted in January 2015, 44 percent said Ken Trujillo was the “first best progressive choice” for mayor. He has since dropped out of the race. Williams scored second with 25 percent of the vote.
  • George Matysik dropped out of the Democratic City Council At-Large race days after campaign finance reports showed he raised a paltry $10,000 last year. Meanwhile, education activist Helen Gym, a rumored potential candidate for City Council At-Large, has scheduled a “major announcement” for Monday.
  • Republican Ronald Castille, the former chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, is not running for mayor. Perennial write-in candidate Queena Bass, of course, is.