Williams TV ad in Philly mayor’s race talks about his roots, school funding

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    Philadelphia state Sen. Anthony Williams has produced the first TV ad of his mayoral campaign.

    Williams’ campaign theme is “one Philadelphia,” and his 30-second ad ends with his pledge to represent one city. But Williams, who is African-American, opens the ad with a message that seems targeted toward black voters

    “Maybe it comes from his grandfather, one of the first black mailmen on the Main Line, or his dad Hardy, who was told an African-American couldn’t run for mayor and said, ‘why not?’,” an announcer says. “Anthony Hardy Williams has always believed you could find common ground with common cause.”

    The ad then says that Williams, who ran for governor as a pro-charter school, pro-voucher candidate, “got a quarter billion dollars out of Harrisburg to keep public schools open” and that he “stared down the barrel of the gun lobby to take illegal guns off the street.”

    To support the claim that he got a quarter billion in school funding from Harrisburg, the ad cites two news articles about school funding developments, but neither mentions Williams.When I contacted his campaign, it sent material from his website noting that, among other things, Williams sponsored bills which were enacted to raise Philadelphia sales and cigarette taxes for education.

    While the ad is the first from a candidate in the mayor’s race, it isn’t the first on TV. A labor-funded Super PAC called Build a Better Pa has an ad backing rival Jim Kenney in the race.

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