A little hitch has developed in the plan to have Marion Barry's supporters on the D.C. Democratic State Committee throw their considerable weight to John Ray when the committee chooses Barry's replacement on the city council. Ray was a onetime foe of Barry who went on to become a campaign volunteer extraordinaire for the mayor-elect and now has Barry's support for appointment to the atlarge seat.
The problem is that a good half dozen fo the Barry loyalists on the committee-including Betty King, Lillian Sedgwick, Kay Campbell McGrath and Anita Bonds-are prime candiates to be scooped up for jobs in the new administration.
That would place them under the Hatch Act's prohibitions on partisan political activity and force them ot leave the state committee when the new mayor takes office Jan. 2. The state committee is not scheduled to pick a stand-in for Barry until Jan. 8.
Sedgwick proposed a solution last week. The new council member should have the right to be sworn in and fully participate in the Jan. 2 inaugural with his colleagues, she said. What's more, what a shame it would be, Sedgewick said, for that seat to be left unfilled for as much as two weeks.
Her way out of the dilemma was to move up the date of the successor's selection to earlier than Jan. 2. No dice, said Rich Siegel, chairman of the committee's constitution and by-laws committee and others.
"Once you set the rules of how you play the game. it's really difficult to change those rules unless the people who are playing that game are involved in the process," Siegel explained this week. To change the rules now, he said, would deprive hopefuls of about a week of lobbying time.
So Siegel plans to propose a change that would set the appointment for Jan. 1, but only if all 15 or more of the candidates who are lobbying state committee members for the interim appointment, agree. The committee is to vote on that proposal next week.
Sedgewick insists that her action was not aimed primarily at giving Ray a boost."In my deliberations," she said, "I made it very clear that I was speaking for the mayor-elect, and that any person or persons who he had asked to come into his administration was prepared to stay on (the state committee) and work (for the mayor) free of charge (for a few days) to participate in the business of the state committee because he believed and I believe we should not leave unfinished business."
Well, wouldn't putting the appointment before inauguration day have made it a little less cumbersome to vote for Ray and get a job in the new administration, too, she was asked.
"It might have made it easier," Sedgewick said. "But that was not your question."
Among the new entrants into the skirmish for appointment as Barry's temporary replacement is City Council member David A. Clarke (D-Ward I), who toyed with the idea of running for council chairman this year before deciding instead to merely seek reelection.
Clarke picked up his petitions from the state committee this week, but said he is still unsure if he wants the interim appointment to the at-large seat. His reasoning is unique and simple. As the only sitting council member interested in the job. Clarke would have to forfeit his current seat-to which he was just reelected for a four-year term-in order to be Barry's replacement. If he then loses the May 1 election, he is off the council.
What Clarke needs, he ackhnowledges, is a good caretaker, someone who wants to be in the Barry seat only until May 1. That way if Clark runs in the May 1 election and loses, he still has his Ward 1 seat.
Jerry Cooper, who has already picked up petitions as a candidate for the appointment, is one person who said he would not mind being a caretaker. That wya, Cooper said, he could introduce some of the hard-hitting kinds of legislation that some others shy away from because they have to stand for election.
It's only a conicidence, Clarke said last week, that **cooper is chairman of the Democratic club in Clarke's ward. "I was frankly hoping someone from another ward would do that," Clarke sad. "Jerry said he wanted to, and I didn't object. But Jerry is not my stalking horse."
The other new entrant, bringing the field to 15, is lawyer JePhunneh Lawrence, who ran unsuccessfully for the at-large Democratic nomination in the Sept. 12 primary.
Add one other name to the list of hopefulls to succeed council Chairman-elect Arrington Dixon as the representation on the council from Ward 4. Norman C. Neverson, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner who ran unsuccessfully against Dixon in 1974, threw his hat in the ring last week.
One of the things he likes about a couple of the new Pierre Cardin suits he has bought. Marion Barry said the other day, patting his slightly swelling middle age girth, is the elasticized wasit band on the vest.
Not that the mayor-elect is no physical fitness fan.
The Barrys-marion and wife Effi-used to jog a mile or so every morning, she said. But then the election got busier and the free time rarer. Her doctor advised against her continuing it, and the jogging program thus became a has-been.
Now, Mrs. Barry reports, the mayor-elect is into tennis. "He's been getting up in the morning and hitting the tennis ball," she said, adding that both of them are "a little bit weight conscious" and would like to find a way to exercise together.
Does the city's soon-to-be first lady think the new mayor is carrying a bit too much baggage? "Well," she said. "I like Marion. So any way he is, I like him."