Add Council member Jack Evans to the list of those testifying about why Mayor Adrian M. Fenty should be reelected this year.
On Saturday, the Fenty campaign unveiled three new 15-second testimonials, including one in which Evans (D-Ward 2) addresses one of the criticisms of Fenty: "Some people say that Adrian Fenty doesn't play well with others."
"Some people" would include Evans. In November, he told The Washington Post that Fenty has always tended to "operate alone."
In 2006, when Fenty successfully ran against then-Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, who was endorsed by Evans, the Ward 2 council member made a number of unflattering statements about Fenty.
"He did not know what he was doing. He was just grandstanding," Evans said in August 2006 as he referred to Fenty's initial plan to use lottery funds to renovate schools. "I don't think he's a serious person."
Again about the school plan, Evans said: "Adrian introduced the bill, and that's it. He doesn't participate in the actual workings of government."
The same month, Evans also opined on how Fenty works with others: "We all like [Cropp], and I can see us working together very closely. With Adrian, I can't say that won't happen, but it has not happened to date. He would have to completely change or find himself at odds with the council."
But Evans, the council's longest-serving member, began changing his tune after Fenty was elected. He has become an ally of the mayor on a council where Fenty has few supporters and where his chief challenger, Chairman Vincent C. Gray, has developed a reputation as a collaborator.
In the new spot, which can be seen frequently on ESPN, Evans says Fenty "can work with others and get results." He uses the historic, $39 million renovation of the School Without Walls as an example.
Fenty's ad campaign, which now has six commercials, is targeting well-known knocks on the mayor. The first three spots addressed beliefs that Fenty does not care about residents east of the Anacostia River, has not done enough for small businesses and is arrogant.
The new set of commercials addresses other criticisms: that the mayor doesn't care about neighborhood interests and has done little to generate jobs for District residents, and that he is unable to work with others.
The messages in the commercials were fine-tuned after the campaign met with focus groups in late June.