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Mayor Williams denies backing Clinton for president

Delaware Public Media

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams says he hasn’t endorsed any candidate for president in 2016, despite appearing on a list of backers released by Hillary Clinton’s campaign Tuesday.

Clinton’s campaign issued a release saying more than 50 current and former African American mayors across the country support her White House bid, calling them “trusted validators” and “key advocates” in building grassroots support for the longtime politician.

At an unrelated event, Williams told Delaware Public Media it’s the first time he’s heard of it.

“I’m surprised. I wonder who put that out? I think somebody’s trying to set me up. We’ll have to look into that,” Williams said.

Most First State politicians have withheld comment on the 2016 presidential race, waiting for Vice President Joe Biden to decide whether he’ll make a third run at the nation’s highest office.

Williams was similarly noncommittal.

“When he announces, we’ll see, but I haven’t endorsed anybody for president. I’ve endorsed me for mayor. That’s who I’ve endorsed,” he said.

But later in the day, Williams tweeted, "I've known @VP Biden since I was 12 yrs old, if he chooses to run, He will receive my support!"

The release aimed to highlight Clinton’s involvement with the African American community – a key demographic to win if she wants to secure the Democratic Party nomination.

Clinton campaign officials did not return requests for comment.