Dennis says his grass-roots campaign can make a man who grew up in the projects the mayor of Philadelphia. Morrisson-Wesley is the only black person currently seeking the Republican nomination for mayor. That, combined with his background in community service and politics, will win him the office in City Hall, he said yesterday. He said he considers himself a "progressive conservative" along the lines of Jack Kemp, the U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The mayoral hopeful said he sees something going wrong in the nation and does not just complain about it, but instead suggests solutions. Morrisson-Wesley emphasized that he is not part of the "old boys network" that he says is responsible for the cash crisis in the city. And Morrisson-Wesley said he is the only candidate who is talking about making substantial cuts. He said that he proposes cutting 3000 employees -- mostly administrative employees -- from the city payroll. He also recommends partially privatizing sanitation services and selling several pieces of property the city owns. Morrisson-Wesley said he would also suggest adding to the police force until the total is 7000 full-time officers and 2000 part-time officers who would work shifts during high-crime periods. To combat small-time criminals, Morrisson-Wesley said he will propose a "boot camp" which will allow people convicted of smaller crimes to be rehabilitated in an environment free from the influences of hardened criminals. With these strategies, Morrisson-Wesley said he is confident that if he wins the Republican primary, he will be elected mayor in November. He said that the traditional criticisms of Republicans who recently have lost elections -- accusations of being racist, unsympathetic to the poor and against unions -- do not apply to him. "There is not a Democrat who can beat me," he said. Morrisson-Wesley said that although his name is not as high-profile as some others, he thinks the broad support he will receive from voters of all ethnic and racial backgrounds will surprise other candidates and political observers. "They are looking at their polls and they are seeing a reason to be concerned," Morrisson-Wesley said. He predicted that the race for the Republican nomination will be two-man race. "It's going to come down between Frank [Rizzo] and me," Morrisson-Wesley said. "Frank is going to be a force in this city until the day he dies -- whether we like it or not." (CUT LINE) Please see REPUBLICAN, page 4 REPUBLICAN, from page 1Comments powered by Disqus
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