11 File Papers to Succeed Barry
By Michael Powell and Vanessa Williams
The largest field in the city's quarter-century of mayoral politics seemed to lay to rest the idea that Congress's curtailing the mayor's power would dampen interest in running for the office.
"This certainly shows a big interest in the nominating process," said Alice P. Miller, director of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. "Hopefully, the same level of interest will be reflected at the polls on election day."
The successor to Barry (D), who is retiring after serving as mayor for 16 of the last 20 years, could be a central player in the transfer of power from the presidentially appointed D.C. financial control board back to the city's elected officials.
The Democratic primary will include seven candidates. There are three candidates in the Republican primary, and a single candidate will run unopposed in the D.C. Statehood primary.
In addition to the mayoral hopefuls, 43 candidates filed petitions to run for other offices, from D.C. Council to the District's "shadow" seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The well-known mayoral candidates include former chief financial officer Anthony A. Williams and D.C. Council members Harold Brazil (At Large), Kevin P. Chavous (Ward 7) and Jack Evans (Ward 2), all running as Democrats, and Republican council member Carol Schwartz (At Large). Each of these candidates apparently filed more than 5,000 signatures, with Williams claiming the highest tally, about 9,000.
Three other Democrats filed petitions for mayor: businessman Jeffrey Gildenhorn, Sylvia Robinson-Green and Osie Thorpe. On the Republican side, Schwartz was joined by David P. Mugan and James Caviness.
John Gloster is the Statehood Party candidate.
Candidates for citywide office must file valid signatures from 1 percent of their party's registered voters, or 2,000 of their party's registered voters, whichever is less. Candidates can challenge signatures and try to knock others off the ballot.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has served four terms, is unopposed in the Democratic primary for the District's nonvoting delegate in the House of Representatives. Two candidates for the D.C. Statehood Party, Pat Kidd and David Schwartzman, filed papers to qualify for the ballot. No Republicans filed nominating petitions for the seat.
A total of 37 people filed nominating petitions for seven seats up for election this year on the D.C. Council. The two at-large council seats drew 16 candidates; the Ward 3 seat attracted only two hopefuls, including the incumbent.
Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp has one challenger in the Democratic primary, Harry W. Lanier. Cropp is seeking a full four-year term in the seat she won last year in a special election after the death of David A. Clarke (D). Joseph Romanow is unopposed in the Statehood Party primary.
The two at-large seats are now held by Hilda H.M. Mason (Statehood), who has held her seat since 1977, and David Catania, a Republican who won a special election in December. Both incumbents filed nominating petitions for reelection. Mason is unopposed in her party's primary, and Catania has one opponent, Joseph Agubuzo.
A dozen Democrats entered the derby for the party's at-large nomination. The Democratic winner will face the nominees of other parties, as well as independents, in the general election.
Among the Democratic hopefuls is Arrington Dixon, who served about 3 1/2 months on the council last year before being ousted by Catania. Dixon had been appointed to the seat by the D.C. Democratic State Committee, but he failed to mount an aggressive campaign and, despite his party's voter registration advantage, lost the special election.
Other Democrats who submitted petitions to run at-large yesterday are William "Rev." Bennett II, James S. Chapelle, Charles Gaither, Phil Mendelson, Linda Moody, Phyllis J. Outlaw, Kathryn A. Pearson-West, Ron Reeves, Greg Rhett, William L. Rice and Sabrina Sojourner. Mark Thompson was the sole candidate to file from the Umoja Party, of which he is one of the founders.
The Democratic primary for the Ward 1 seat has been billed as one of the most exciting political contest after the mayor's race. It pits council member Frank Smith Jr., who is seeking his fifth term, against Jim Graham, the executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic. Other Democrats who are seeking nomination are Baruti Jahi, Lenwood Johnson and Todd Mosley. Nik Eames is unopposed in the Umoja primary.
In Ward 3, council member Kathy Patterson drew one challenger in the Democratic primary, Jim Montgomery. No candidates from other political parties filed for the seat. Patterson is seeking a second term.
The Ward 5 Democratic primary drew five contestants, including council member Harry Thomas, who is running for a fourth term. His challengers are William Boston, Pat Mitchell, Vincent Orange and Virgil Thompson. Two Republicans filed petitions in Ward 5, Ian Alexander and Edward Wolterbeek.
The Ward 6 Democratic primary promises a partial replay of last year's special election. Incumbent Sharon Ambrose is seeking a full four-year term this year. Among her primary opponents is George A. Stallings Jr., archbishop of Imani Temple on Capitol Hill, who placed third last year. A third Democrat, Benjamin Bonham, also is seeking the nomination.
The District's so-called shadow seat in the U.S. House of Representatives drew two Democratic hopefuls: Thomas E. Bryant Jr. and Eduardo Burkhart. David VanWilliams is unopposed in the Statehood Party primary.
Staff writer Hamil R. Harris contributed to this report.
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company