The Washington Post

D.C. GOP has its nominee

District Republicans appear to have settled on their nominee in next year’s race for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council after accountant Tim Day withdrew from the race Monday and endorsed Mary Brooks Beatty.

Beatty, a former Ward 6 advisory neighborhood commissioner, is now the only announced GOP candidate in the race.

 She will run in the Nov. 2 General Election, hoping to unseat incumbent Michael Brown (I) for the seat reserved under the city charter for a candidate from a non-majority party.  David P. Grosso, a former Democrat who recently switched parties to become an independent, is also a candidate.

 Beatty, a Texas native who moved to the District in 1999, announced her candidacy in mid-November. About the same time, Day threw his name into the mix, setting up the first contested GOP primary since 2008.

 Day, an accountant, unsuccessfully challenged council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) in 2010. During that campaign, Day first raised questions about whether Thomas was misusing his nonprofit, Team Thomas, for his personal benefit.

 In a statement from GOP leaders, Day announced Monday that he is dropping out of the at-large race to focus on Ward 5. If Thomas has to step down because of the ongoing federal investigation into Team Thomas, Day could be well positioned to seek the seat either as a Republican or Independent. But Day, who finished third in his 2010 bid, would face a steep challenge in overwhelmingly Democratic Northeast.

Beatty also faces a tough race in the at-large contest. No Republican has been elected citywide since 2004, when former council member Carol Schwartz was reelected.  And with President Obama leading the Democratic ticket this year, Brown remains favored to win reelection.

But GOP leaders are hopeful  they can successfully tie Brown, a former Democrat and son of late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, to what they view as an anti-incumbent mood among voters toward local D.C. officials.  Beatty is a consultant and former executive director of the National Environmental Policy Institute, a think tank that sought to streamline federal environmental regulations.

Tim Craig is The Post’s bureau chief in Pakistan. He has also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and within the District of Columbia government.


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