A group of the city's most prodigious political fundraisers gathered yesterday evening to give At-Large Council member Kwame R. Brown (D) a head start on his run for the Council chairmanship.
Developers Herb Miller of Western Development Corp., Deborah Ratner Salzburg of Forest City Washington, Bill Alsup of Hines, and Tom Wilbur of Akridge headlined the host committee for the Georgia Brown's event, along with restaurant mogul Paul Cohn and power lawyers Andrew J. Klein, Whayne Quin, and John Epting.
Miller introduced Brown as guests munched on catfish fingers, deviled eggs, and mini crabcakes---and while brother Che Brown collected checks, up to $1,500 a pop.
"I believe in him. We all believe in him," said Miller, who built much of modern Georgetown and has long enjoyed friendly relations with local politicos.
Brown, in brief remarks, vowed to run "an aggressive campaign" and, if elected, to create "an economic environment that's friendly, an economic environment that gets things done."
He praised the deep-pocketed supporters for offering up seed money to hire staff, connect phones, and otherwise get his campaign off the ground.
"You are what I consider early supporters," Brown told them. "From the bottom of my heart, I will remember every single one of you. My doors are always open."
Brown also noted the overwhelming support he's garnered from his council colleagues. Fellow at-largers Michael A. Brown (I) and David A. Catania (I) dropped by to offer support, and Brown was happy to rattle off the names of six other members who have endorsed him.
That included, in a mildly surprising disclosure, Ward 2 colleague Jack Evans, chair of the finance and revenue committee -- surprising, because Evans had been close to Brown's opponent, former Ward 5 member Vincent B. Orange, during their time together on the council.
Reached this morning, Evans confirmed the endorsement but declined to discuss his reasons. He said of Orange, "I've served on the council with him many years. I think he's a good guy."
Perhaps Brown has committed to keeping him in his powerful post as chair of the finance and revenue committee?
"I haven't really delved into any of that," Evans said.