On May 19, former Philadelphia Inspector General Seth Williams won the Democratic primary for the upcoming Philadelphia District Attorney election, surpassing his four rivals with over 40 percent of the vote.
Williams will face Republican Michael Untermeyer — who ran unopposed in the Republican primary — in the general election on Nov. 3.
Williams, the favorite to win the primary according to The Associated Press, was endorsed by the Penn Democrats by a two-thirds vote in February.
“After evaluating each candidate’s plans for the District Attorney’s Office, Seth was the clear choice for our endorsement,” College junior, former Daily Pennsylvanian advertising representative and Penn Dems president Jordan Levine wrote in an e-mail. “His enthusiasm for reform was a call-to-action for our members.”
Levine explained that Penn Dems chose to endorse Williams for several reasons.
“His commitment to community-based prosecution and extensive experience working in the DA’s office put him in the best position to address serious and unabated crime issues in Philadelphia,” Levine wrote.
Furthermore, he added, Williams offered “real policy proposals” and concrete plans that appealed to the Penn Dems because of their focus on reducing crime.
One such plan, Levine wrote, included assigning prosecutors to specific neighborhoods so they could work more closely “with local police and detective units to reduce crime.”
Levine added that Williams’ plan would also help “‘connect the dots’ between offenders and crimes.”
“There have been too many gun and violent crime incidents on campus or near campus in the past year,” Levine wrote. “In a couple years, Penn will be a safer place because of Seth Williams.”
Experts say Williams is likely to win the general election.
“Seth’s prospects for November look very good — 80 percent of Philadelphia voters are Democrats, and it would be a shock if a Republican beat him,” Penn Law professor Kermit Roosevelt wrote in an e-mail.
Penn law professor David Rudovsky, an expert in criminal law, agreed that Williams’ victory is very likely.
“I’d say his chances of winning are 99.9 percent,” he said.
While Rudovsky “is not sure that a new DA in office will mean much for Penn,” he said a new DA “will bring some needed changes” to Philadelphia as a whole.
The winner of the general election in November will replace Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, who is stepping down after holding office since 1991.
“Lynne Abraham was very effective and did some positive things [as District Attorney]…but I think her focus was…not enough to achieving justice,” he said. “Williams can turn that around.”
Levine added, “Seth has a real vision and the motivation to finally conquer challenges that have faced our community for years.”
In the Democratic primary race for City Controller held on the same day, incumbent Alan Butkovitz won against John Braxton by nearly 10,000 votes.Comments powered by Disqus
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