Former prosecutor and Sestak opponent seeks Delco D.A.’s post
As Delaware County’s District Attorney office is soon to be vacated as Jack Whelan will assume the Common Pleas Court judgeship he won last week, a former prosecutor familiar with political process has made it known he’d like the job.
W. Craig Williams, 52, of Glen Mills, sent a letter to Delaware County Republican Party Chairman Andrew Reilly and GOP municipal leaders last Thursday indicating his desire to fill Whelan’s unexpired term as well as run for election for the post in 2019.
The next D.A. will initially be appointed by the county’s Board of Judges.
Williams said that his highly experienced background and the current political dynamic help make him an ideal candidate for the spot.
“The why of this is very important,” Williams said. “At my core, I feel a duty and a calling to service and I have been doing that my entire life.”
Williams may be familiar to Delaware County voters for his 2008 run against then U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-7. Williams received 100,447 votes in Delaware County to Sestak’s 154,257.
At the time, he also highlighted his commitment to service as his strength.
“I want to continue that service to my country and community, now as a member of Congress,” he said then. “As a Marine and a prosecutor, I will take a no-nonsense approach to the ‘politics as usual’ culture that permeates Washington, D.C. I will fight corruption, wasteful spending and be a voice for the people. I will fight to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and work toward renewable energy. I will fight for lower taxes and fiscal responsibility. I will restore our voice to Washington, D.C. I will implement reforms, restore ethics to our nation’s capital and bring a true sense of bipartisanship and common sense to Congress.”
In 1987, Williams went into the Marine Corps, where he flew 56 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm.
“I never shirked away from that he said.
He then served in the Marine Corps Reserves. There, he was the head prosecutor from 1998 to 2000 as he trained other prosecutors how to try and investigate cases in the classroom.
In his civilian life, Williams did a federal clerkship on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, Ga., before he moved to Denver, Colo., to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. There, he had a role in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
“I didn’t bank at the time on falling in love with a Philadelphia girl but that’s what brought me here,” Williams said. He and his wife, Jennifer, married in 2004 and have four children.
Williams then accepted orders to go to the Pentagon, where he served the Joint Chiefs of Staff, first under Gen. Richard Myers and then Gen. Peter Pace. He explained that his first responsibility was to be the ethics advisor to them and more than 100 generals and admirals on staff.
Williams also served as Assistant U.S. Attorney under then-U.S. Attorney Patrick responsibility,” Meehan of the Eastern District. In 2009, he became assistant general counsel at PECO.
When asked what would be among his priorities should he be appointed Delco D.A., Williams reserved comment.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” he said. “There has to be a degree of humility. Nobody has asked me to have the job.”
He did say it was crucial for people of good stature to get involved in public service at this time.
“I think good people need to come forward,” Williams said. “In this political climate, I think it’s more imperative than ever that good people continue to serve.”
The attorney said that discussions are ongoing and he expected that they would continue for several weeks.
He added that it’s a critical time for Republicans. They were swamped locally and nationally in last week’s elections in what has been described by some as a reaction against the presidency of Donald Trump.
“After Tuesday, the landscape has changed,” Williams said, “and I’m hopeful that we as a party can work on our message and work on how we do business. Because it would be a mistake to say that this election was entirely about the president.”
W. Craig Williams