DOVER, Del. (AP) — Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, who was elected in 2012 after promising to get tough on criminals, says his violence-ridden city can't arrest its way out of its crime problem.
Williams, who campaigned four years against a "hug a thug" approach to crime, said in a Democratic primary debate Wednesday that arresting more people won't solve Wilmington's crime problem, which he suggested was rooted in poverty.
But while taking a softer rhetorical approach to crime, Williams had plenty of harsh words for some of his seven primary opponents, at one point calling businessman Michael Purzycki a "slumlord."
Purzycki responded that "desperate people say desperate things."
While describing himself as "battle tested," a combative Williams said his opponents were offering voters "pie in the sky."
The primary will be held Sept. 13.
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