Anthony A. Williams

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Anthony Williams

Anthony A. "Tony" Williams (born July 28, 1951) is a United States politician who has served as mayor of Washington, DC since 1999.

Williams first rose to prominence as the District of Columbia's Chief Financial Officer under Mayor Marion Barry. The city, reeling from years of fiscal mismanagement, was governed by a Congress-appointed control board. Williams led the city into a fiscal recovery, which made him a popular figure; he was elected mayor in 1998.

In 2002, Williams ran for reelection. Because DC is dominated by Democrats, the Democratic primary election is widely considered to be the actual deciding contest. In the 2002 primary, the mayor needed to collect signatures from voters to get his name on the ballot. The firm that he hired to do this had some irregularities with the names on petitions. Examples of faulty signatures on his petitions included Tony Blair, Billy Joel, and Robin Hood. As a result of the dodgy petitions, Williams was fined $277,700 by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and was kicked off the ballot. Because of this mess, he had to run as a write-in candidate. His chief opponent, minister Willie Wilson, also ran as a write-in. Despite this handicap, Williams won reelection.

In the DC political spectrum, Williams is generally seen as a moderate; he has good relations with both the business community and DC at large. His public persona is that of an uncharismatic bureaucrat, especially when compared to the colorful Barry. He is known for his signature bowtie.

Williams was instrumental in arranging a deal for the ailing Montréal Expos, a Major League Baseball team, to move to D.C. Although he faced opposition from much of the DC City Council, Wiliams eventually prevailed—and in late December 2004, the Council approved by one vote a financing plan for a new stadium. The new team, the Washington Nationals, began playing in April of 2005, the first time since 1971 that the nation's capital has had its own major league baseball team.

Prior to his service in the D.C. government, Williams served as Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Agriculture Department and held a variety of executive posts in cities around the U.S.


Preceded by:
Marion Barry
Mayor of Washington, D.C.
1999–present
Succeeded by:
Incumbent

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