Anson Williams, “Potsie” from Happy Days, Close to Winning Ojai Mayor Race


Anson Williams, famous for his role as Warren “Potsie” Weber on the TV classic Happy Days, is maintaining a narrow lead in his bid for Mayor of Ojai, California.

With roughly 73% of the votes in as of Tuesday, November 15, Williams leads his opponent, incumbent mayor Elizabeth Stix, by 1,434 votes to 1,378, or 51% to 49%, according to the Ventura County Clerk-Recorder, Registrar of Voters.

Last Thursday, Stix effectively conceded the race, addressing Williams and other candidates for city government in email: “Congratulations to Mr. Williams. I wish you, Ms. Rule, Mr. Whitman, and Mr. Haney all the best. It has been an honor serving as Ojai’s Mayor for the last two years,” reported Ojai Valley News.

However, Williams, in a response email, said in so many words, ‘not so fast.’

“I appreciate the mayor’s kind congratulations, but the final vote is not in yet. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected, I’ll get to work right away collaborating with our community and fellow council members to get good things done.”

The gracious back and forth summarizes the campaign the two engaged in to lead the small city of under 8,000 people in Ventura County.

Anson Williams entered the race with a platform aiming to make the city fire safe, build affordable housing, bolster water sustainability and other infrastructure, among other goals the candidate stated on his campaign website. He’s been an Ojai resident since 2011.

A veteran of the entertainment industry, Williams first portrayed Potsie Weber in a segment of a 1972 comedy anthology called Love, American Style. He would reprise the role when that segment was given the spinoff show Happy Days in 1974.

Happy Days was a hit, running 11 seasons with Williams playing the Potsie role in 219 episodes, earning him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.

Besides acting, Williams became a prolific director and producer in TV and film with over 300 credits.

According to his website, Williams has also found success as an entrepreneur, “co-founding an international product company that created over 40 products. Alert Drops, a product he developed with the famous Dr. Henry Heimlich, has saved the lives of thousands of drowsy drivers.”

His campaign received support from celebrity friends and Happy Days alums including Ron Howard and Harry Winkler, who in July of this year tweeted his effective endorsement:

If he can hold on to win his bid for Ojai mayor, he will have faired better than another sitcom star who was on the ballot this election cycle — Ben Savage, who played Cory Matthews in the ABC hit show Boy Meets World, appears poised to lose his race for West Hollywood City Council.

 

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