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Posted at 06:21 PM ET, 02/09/2012

Kevin B. Chavous speaks!


Kevin B. Chavous, middle, with brother Eric Chavous, left, and campaign aide Lamont Harrell, right. (Chris L. Jenkins - The Washington Post)
For this week’s not-a-column, I caught up with Kevin B. Chavous, the political scion and Ward 7 D.C. Council candidate who had been mum since his December arrest on a solicitation charge.

Chavous, 27, only kinda-sorta broke his silence, declining to address the specifics of what happened late that night on K Street NE. But he’s pressing on with his primary challenge to incumbent Yvette M. Alexander (D) nonetheless, and we had a good chat. Plenty ended up on the cutting-room floor. Herewith, some outtakes:

On his deferred-prosecution deal: “We were prepared to go to trial. I was confident we could be successful at trial. But this gave me an opportunity to get it behind me and not have to worry about a long, protracted legal battle. I didn’t know when the trial date would be set, and I made the decision that was the best for me and my team. ... I wouldn’t have accepted anything that required me to plea guilty or admit wrongdoing. It’s just I have to do community service [and — editor’s note — avoid the scene of the alleged crime] to get it dropped. ... I enjoy the opportunity to serve the community.”

On why his dad lost to Vincent Gray: “I think with him, he really got into the education thing, the national school reform movement. And I think people could sort of feel that, that he was sort of focusing on the national stage. ... That’s how Ward 7 is, you have to be visible. They’ve got to see you, they have to hear you, and you have to be a part of the community.”

On where he differs from dad on education issues: “The mayoral takeover. I would like to see the Board of Education back in place. ... I don’t know if I agree with the idea of the executive [branch] controlling what happens with regards to our public education.”

On Michelle Rhee: “I think she wanted to improve the schools, I believe that fully, but I think the way she went about the reform really rubbed people the wrong way. And I think the way she’s avoided even discussing her time in D.C. after the fact has also rubbed people the wrong way. And it doesn’t make her look good in our eyes.”

On Alexander’s bill to create permanent “prostitution-free zones”: “I just think it’s very interesting that the council member who hasn’t sponsored one major bill now wants to take up this issue when this is not an issue on the radar of people in Ward 7. ... As soon as she proposed it, the attorney general said it’s unconstitutional. You can’t do that. You’ve got to understand the law to make the law.”

On restoring a Ward 7 landmark: “I want to see the Shrimp Boat revitalized. That’s Ward 7’s most recognizable building, and it’s fallen into disarray. ... I don’t see any reason why we can’t update the signage, have a sit-down restaurant in there, a seafood restaurant ... I don’t want it to turn in into anything else.”

On the prospect of bringing pro football to Ward 7: “I’m a Redskins fan, so, yes, the Redskins should be in D.C., I believe that. ... I think it would really have to be planned out carefully. ... It’s such a prime location that’s on the water. I would like to see some mixed-use development there. But I’m a Redskins fan. ... I think it would be inevitable you would have to use [some] taxpayer funding.”

On Dan Snyder: “If he were a real fan, he would sell the team.”

On his pitch to skeptical Ward 7 voters: “First, I’d say that the charges are being dropped [or — editor’s notewill be, should he abide by certain conditions], and that I did nothing wrong or illegal, that it was a misunderstanding that took place. ... If it happened to me, it can happen to you. A lot of people have had misunderstandings with law enforcement, but you move on and move forward. ... If this were enough to break me, then I wouldn’t be ready for office.”

By  |  06:21 PM ET, 02/09/2012

 
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