Deadline Passes for Nominations in '08 Campaigns

By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 3, 2008

D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander could be pitted against her former campaign chairman, and at-large member Kwame Brown has no competition in the September Democratic primary.

Those are two races in the fall election in which six council incumbents are seeking to return to office.

Yesterday was the deadline for potential candidates to turn in nominating petitions to become official contenders in the primary races for council seats, nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House, shadow senator and representative, and spots on the Democratic State Committee.

At-large council candidates and those seeking federal office had to gather 2,000 signatures, or 1 percent of registered voters in the same party, to qualify. Ward council candidates had to obtain 250 signatures, or 1 percent.

After a challenge period, the Board of Elections and Ethics will determine which candidates qualify to be on the ballot.

Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who has been in office since 1991, said he had about 2,100 signatures.

Lawyer Cary Silverman has been carving out support in Mount Vernon Square, a Ward 2 neighborhood just north of downtown. He said in a news release that he received 850 signatures, which he called a sign of momentum.

Meanwhile, Alexander (D), who won a special election for her Ward 7 seat last year, could face three opponents, including former campaign chairman Robin Hammond Marlin.

Alexander said, "It's funny how life goes, isn't it?"

Marlin said she did not have time for an interview last night.

In other races, council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) could have three challengers, and council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) could face Patrick Mara, a Columbia Heights resident and former U.S. Senate staffer.

Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) could face half a dozen challengers.

Brown will face no competition in the primary. Two potential candidates did not file their petitions, according to a list compiled by the elections board.

He's not alone. Longtime Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) and shadow Rep. Mike Panetta (D) have no challengers in the primary, either.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company