An earlier version of this article incorrectly described D.C. Council member Jack Evans8 (D-Ward 2) as a lobbyist. Evans is a lawyer at Patton Boggs and is not a registered lobbyist.
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Local Election Season Quietly Kicks Off
The at-large race is not expected to heat up until November, when candidates from all parties will compete for two spots. Voters can pick two at-large candidates, but one must be a non-Democrat. Republican incumbent Carol Schwartz could face a challenge from newcomer Adam Clampitt, activist Dee Hunter and Michael A. Brown, son of former commerce secretary Ronald H. Brown. The three are planning to run as independents.
For now, Kwame Brown, who defeated longtime incumbent Harold Brazil in 2004 with a massive door-knocking campaign, appears to be "a shoo-in," activist Philip Pannell said. Brown, he said, is always in the public eye. "Kwame will attend the opening of an envelope. He's everywhere," Pannell said.
Brown agreed. "They see an at-large member who is actually out in the community," he said. "They see me at the subway stops. . . . They see me at [Advisory Neighborhood Commission] meetings."
"People run because they're tired of elected officials not doing anything," said Brown, who lives in Hillcrest. "No one's running, because I've done what I said I was going to do."
He mentioned his efforts to support the ban on smoking in restaurants and bars and to help bring an IHOP restaurant to Ward 8.
Alexander said the council's recent approval of a ban on the sale of single containers of malt liquor and beer has been a highlight of her first year in office.
Bowser said she has been working on investing in Ward 4, reforming schools and improving such corridors as Georgia Avenue.
Still, at the debate last week, Jahi, a former president of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association, tried to depict Bowser as a Fenty follower. The mayor endorsed Bowser as his successor last year.
"Do you want leadership that will represent you with provocative and independent thought?" Jahi asked the audience.
In Ward 2, lawyer Cary Silverman is also trying to cast Evans as a follower -- of business interests. Evans, chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, has focused on big-ticket items, including the new Washington Nationals stadium and a $50 million renovation of Verizon Center, Silverman said.
Silverman said he would prioritize local parks and recreation centers and work full time. Evans also works as a lobbyist. Evans said that several parks and recreation centers, including Kennedy Recreation Center in Shaw, have been upgraded on his watch. He also said Ward 2, home to downtown and Georgetown's shopping district, generates half the city's revenue.
Former mayor Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) said he is undecided about running again.
But four Ward 8 residents, including community activist Sandra Seegars, obtained petitions Friday, and two others are expected to do the same.
"I didn't announce in 2004 until June 12th," said Barry. "I'm in no rush."
By Friday, two dozen potential candidates had picked up petitions.
Brown said he was the second person in line, behind shadow Rep. Michael J. Panetta (D-D.C.). Brown rattled off a schedule of activities that he said will show residents that he is still hungry for their vote. Among them:
"I'm also going to West Virginia for Barack."