DC 47 Endorses Seth WilliamsSeth Williams continues to get support for organized labor in Philadelphia. Fresh off his endorsement from the FOP, Williams received the nod today from AFSCME DC 47. DC 47 represents over 5,000 employees, many of them city workers. The leadership of DC 47, particularly President Thomas Paine Cronin, is known for supporting progressive causes. For example, Cronin was a driving force of the recent campaign to save SEPTA and played a critical role in convincing the Philadelphia AFL-CIO to come out against the war in Iraq. DC 47 also supported Tim Kearney in his long-shot attempt to unseat John Perzel.
In addition to volunteers and financial contribution, I think an endorsement from DC 47 will give Williams additional clout in seeking support from other unions. Cronin has been around for a long time and has solid relationships with many of the largest unions in Philadelphia. While the Philadelphia AFL-CIO has endorsed Abraham, this might be an empty gesture if CWA District 13, UFCW 1776, and other big unions decide to break with the endorsement.
The big question is the building trades. This includes powerhouse IBEW Local 98, headed by John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty. I doubt they will break away from Abraham, but I also don't see them getting particularly involved with this race. If they sit on their hands and the unions supporting Williams get seriously involved, we could have a race.
Obviously, unions aren't the only things that decide elections in Philadelphia. But they are a big component, for any challenger or incumbent.