Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, known as the “tough cookie” for her blunt style, defeated former assistant Seth Williams yesterday in a Democratic primary, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Abraham – already the city’s longest-serving district attorney in eight decades – had a substantial lead with nearly all of the votes counted. Abraham had branded Williams a “souffle,” saying he lacked substance. Williams, 38, argued that Abraham’s management lay behind the high rate of dismissal of felony arrests in court.
Williams said he might run again. He won a higher percentage of the vote against Abraham than former City Commissioner Alex Talmadge Jr. did four years ago with a campaign that many said was based on racial antagonism. A polarizing figure to some because of her embrace of the death penalty, Abraham, 64, built a loyal fan base by attending thousands of neighborhood meetings. She had the support of the city’s Democratic Party and raised six times more money than Williams. Voters overwhelmingly approved a measure calling for Philadelphia to have the right to enact its own gun-control laws. The state legislature is unlikely to cede its jurisdiction over firearms, so the vote is symbolic.