The last candidate to enter the Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial campaign is moving fast to make up for lost ground.
Philadelphia Senator Anthony Williams has some unorthodox education policies for a candidate in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
He supports school choice, and says he won’t commit to continuing Governor Rendell’s support for the “costing out” formula, which has steadily increased the state’s basic education spending.
"The cost-out study never spoke to choice. It never spoke to getting people out of bad schools. All it speaks to is spending more money. And that’s not the answer. There’s more to just spending more money to solve these problems. There has to be some level of measurable accountability academically and safety-wise."
Williams says he isn’t worried his support for school voucher programs will hurt him with liberal voters. He’s planning on talking a lot about the stance when campaigning, saying school choice helps empower poor families to make their own decisions about where their children go to school.
Williams says endorsements by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans make him a more viable candidate.
"It doesn’t guarantee, obviously, every vote in Philadelphia. But it gives you a good chance at driving out a significant number. It also affects – Michael Nutter’s reputation goes well beyond Philadelphia, and I think it’s going to help me with people beyond Philadelphia County. And it begins to drive progress toward the west.
When Williams made his late entry into the Democratic gubernatorial primary, political observers wondered whether he was simply trying to increase his state-wide influence, or impact other candidates’ platforms.