Zukerberg says another D.C. Council run possible

April 25, 2013

Democrat Paul Zukerberg, who finished fifth in Tuesday’s D.C. Council election, said Thursday that he might make another run for office, perhaps next year.

Zukerberg, who campaigned on a platform of decriminalizing marijuana, said if he runs he would expand his message so voters understand he has “more than just one issue.”

“I wanted people to understand the (marijuana) issue very well so I didn’t have time to talk about the other issues, in the in-depth way that I would have liked,” Zukerberg said. “But now I would have time, time to meet people and broaden things.”

Zukerberg, an attorney, could have several possible races to choose from next year if he decides he’s up for another campaign.

If he still hopes to join the council, Zukerberg could challenge incumbent Anita Bonds (D-At Large) in the April Democratic primary. Zukerberg also lives in Adams Morgan, making him eligible to run for council member Jim Graham’s (D) Ward 1 seat next year.

Zukerberg could also decide to continue to push his decriminalization message to a citywide audience, perhaps launching long-shot bids for mayor or attorney general.

“All of my options are open,” Zukerberg said. “I don’t think this is going to be the end of it ... it may only be the beginning.”

Though he finished with only 2 percent of the vote, Zukerberg helped to reshape this year’s special election.

His spirited condemnation of marijuana laws thrust the issue into the campaign. Eventually, all six candidates endorsed decriminalization of marijuana, and several of them credited Zukerberg for influencing their decision.

Zukerberg’s blunt speaking style was also generally well-received at candidate forums and debates. But Zukerberg said his campaign got off to a slow start because supporters of one of his opponents, Democrat Elissa Silverman, challenged his ballot petitions.

Zukerberg said he was also hampered because too few voters viewed him as a serious contender in the race.

“Many people told me I was their first choice, but in this particular election, they selected another candidate who had a better shot at winning,” Zukerberg said. “I was new, and the issue I was talking about was new, but now I have more time to talk and build my base.”

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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