Inside his alma mater, P.S. duPont Middle School, State Representative Dennis P. Williams (D-Wilmington North) announced, Thursday, he is running for Mayor of Wilmington in 2012.
After 17 years in the legislature, the Chair of the Joint Finance Committee decided it was time for a change.
“I was very concerned about some of the things I see with the criminal activity in our city… I had a meeting with about 10 business owners… and I was very concerned because they were upset about what was going on in our city. At that point, I decided, you know what, I’m gonna run,” said Williams.
Williams grew up in Wilmington, attended P.S. duPont when it was a middle and high school combined and has represented Delaware’s 1st District since 1995.
“I want to save this city, I love it so much,” said Williams, who, if elected, says he will create what he calls a “business-community round-table.” Comprised of people who live and work in the community, Williams says the round-table will brainstorm ways to improve Wilmington from all aspects.
“We have to come up with solutions and those folks that come to the table, we’re gonna talk about crime issues. We’re also going to talk about job creation… But we have to also look at the businesses that are here who’ve stood by through good times and bad times — we have to help them out,” said Williams. “It can’t be a mayor coming out telling everybody what to do… it has to be a conscious team effort.”
Team effort — something critics of Wilmington Mayor Jim Baker claim has been missing for some time now, as his time in office winds down. Earlier this week, Baker went off on his critics, telling them to “go to hell” at a press conference. And we can’t forget his budget address to Wilmington City Council when he threw down the gauntlet, creating a rift between himself and council members.
“Mayor Baker governs his way and I’ll govern my way,” said Williams. “If I’m elected, I will open the doors to the Mayor’s office and I will leave my office and walk over and talk to [council members] because they’re a part of government also… That’s the only way we’re gonna be able to get things done.”
As Williams has his eye on Wilmington, Democratic City Councilman Charles Potter Jr. has his sights set on Dover. Potter says he’s hopes to represent the 1st District at Leg Hall next year, taking over Williams seat.
Williams isn’t the only one vying for the Mayor’s office. City Councilman Mike Brown (R) announced his candidacy earlier this week, and last year State Senator Robert Marshall (D-Wilmington West) launched his campaign for Mayor.