Former WNEP anchor Tom Williams officially announces his candidacy for state house

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A popular morning anchor at WNEP in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, has called it quits after nearly 30 years with the station in order to run for political office.

Tom Williams, who has co-anchored “Newswatch 16 This Morning” since 1996, abruptly left the station Friday, March 18, 2022.

He officially announced his candidacy as a Republican in the 119th District on March 29, 2022.

March 18, 2022, the day Williams left WNEP, is listed as the “first day to circulate and file nomination petitions for Senator in the General Assembly, Representative in the General Assembly, and Member of State Committee” on the state’s Secretary of State website.

Insiders say Williams’ departure was a surprise to most, with only a few people knowing in advance he’d be leaving. The station paid tribute to him on-air March 18, but did not mention his plans to run for office, though his candidacy was not official as of that time.

Among the priorities he has learned from talking to voters are lowering gas prices and getting new funding for road construction and repair projects, including through the use of partnerships.

He also mentioned that he feels local businesses were “ignored” when they were “unilaterally shut down during the pandemic.”

Williams is running to replace Democratic Gerald Mullery, who is not seeking re-election.

The primary is scheduled for May 17, 2022.

Williams has worked at WNEP since 1987, leaving briefly before returning in 1992. He reported for the station before becoming a weekend anchor.