Q&A: Why Jumaane Williams is running for speaker

Jumaane Williams

C&S: Why are you running for speaker?

JW: Particularly, in a time like this, my track record is the type that I believe is needed to help steward the City Council. … I have – I believe – really tried to handle controversial issues in a way that is as least divisive as possible while understanding both sides and still moving the issue forward in a meaningful way.

C&S: What are your thoughts on the mayor getting involved in the speakership race last time, and how do you feel about that occurring again?

JW: I believe that the Council is an independent body and our job is different than that of the mayor. And my hope is that the body will take it upon itself to decide who will be the next leader of the Council.

C&S: People have said those who declare their candidacy early generally do not do well. What do you think?

JW: There’s a lot of legitimacy to that argument. I think the reason I announced now is because I don’t think it’s too early. I think there have been rumors and innuendos of lots of people running for a few years now. … Of course, once you specifically say that you’re running, everybody looks at you and looks at your decisions, but I think I have a very good track record of being consistent of who I am.

C&S: Some of your colleagues have previously indicated they would hesitate to support you because they believe you have conservative views on some social issues. Is that a factor?

JW: The factor is in what people have heard my belief is. I don’t think it’s a factor once I get to sit down with people and discuss both of those issues. People, generally, what they have in their head is not what I believe.