CITY HALL SAM: Black Ward Leaders Carry A Big Stick

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STATE SEN. (and 3rd Ward Leader) Anthony Williams heads Phila. Democratic Black Ward Leaders.

STATE SEN. (and 3rd Ward Leader) Anthony Williams heads Phila. Democratic Black Ward Leaders.

One of the key organizations in the Philadelphia political machine is the group known as the Black Ward Leaders. The group consists of African American ward leaders, many of whom are elected officials. The group is currently chaired by STATE SEN. ANTHONY HARDY WILLIAMS. Among its members are City COUNCILWOMAN JANNIE BLACKWELL, SHERIFF JEWELL WILLIAMS, City COMMISSIONER ANTHONY CLARK and SONNY CAMPBELL of the famous Campbell family.

The organization is famous for delivering votes from the most-important constituency the Democratic Party has. Sonny is the son of the late, great EDGAR CAMPBELL and the brother of the late COUNCILWOMAN CAROL ANN CAMPBELL. Philadelphia has long-standing family traditions in the Democratic Party like no other organization in America. Anthony Williams is the son of the late, great HARDY WILLIAMS, who was a trailblazer. Jannie Blackwell is the wife of the former CONGRESSMAN LUCIEN BLACKWELL. Politicians throughout Philadelphia are the sons, daughters and grandchildren of Democratic politicians who have made this city and the organization as great as it is.

Recently the Black Ward Leaders held a breakfast at the City Line Hilton to consider endorsements of statewide and congressional candidates. Among those who appeared before them were gubernatorial hopefuls TOM WOLF, ROB McCORD and ALLYSON SCHWARTZ. McCord was apparently under the impression he would be the only candidate seen, but was soon educated to the fact that the group’s power is sought after by many. Also attending the event were CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY, who is among the most-favored elected officials in the African-American community. And he’s also Democratic Party chair. Also on hand was Ward Leader and Local 98 leader JOHN DOUGHERTY, who enjoys high stature in the group.

JUDGE FAY STACK was on hand at the Irish Memorial to pay tribute to the Irish in America. The memorial is one of the best in the country and it was made possible by the work of a significant number of people in the Irish community. In addition to Judge Stack, folks of Irish descent attending the event included JUDGE KEVIN DOUGHERTY, COUNCILMAN BOB HENON, STATE REP. BRENDAN BOYLE, MIKE BRADLEY, FRANK MORAN, KATHLEEN SULLIVAN, ROBERT HERSH and John Dougherty. Local 98 was a key sponsor of the memorial and it would not have gotten built without its participation.

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