A story in Sunday's Post inadvertantly omitted the name of attorney Richard R. Clark in a list of candidates running in the May 1 special election to fill the Ward Four seat on the District of Columbia City Council. There are 16 candidates in the race.
The at-large City Council race in the May 1 special election is a virtual head-to-head contest between two "new" politicians that is likely to form the first real test of Mayor Marion Barry's political strength.
One candidate is the "new" Douglas E. Moore, 50, a former council member whose rambunctious style of maverick politics was resoundingly rejected in the Democratic primary last September. Moore is now running as a controlled and calculating politician, stressing economic instead of moral issues, and he even has a campaign coordinator who is openly gay.
The other candidate is John L. Ray, a 35-year-old Capitol Hill lawyer, who abandoned an obscure and poorly financed race for mayor last year to endorse Barry. With considerable help from Barry, the "new" Ray is now in the mainstream of city politics--an interim member of the City Council and a candidate suddenly capable of raising $1,000 a day in campaign funds.
There are at least half a dozen front-runners in the field of 15 candidates in the Ward 4 council race. Revitalizing neighborhood businesses and holding down property taxes are among the key issues.
Predictably, last-month's 23-day teachers' strike is a major concern in the race for an at-large seat on the school board, where 11 candidates are vying for votes, money and attention. As in the past, improving the lagging achievement levels of city public school students is a principal issue.
The contest to fill Barry's old at-large seat on the council is in some respects one of the most intriguing political contests in recent years--a clash of styles, personalities and political histories.
Moore has been transformed by defeat and a new core of advisers into a distinctly different political animal.
He has stopped publicly lambasting gay rights, gambling, decriminalized marijuana, the Board of Trade and white people in general, as he did during much of his four years on the council and during his losing campaign for council chairman against Arrington Dixon last summer.
Instead, Moore, believing now that those "moral" issues have little impact on most city residents, is emphasizing instead the need for better and more affordable housing, lower taxes and utility bills, improving the city's educational system and providing jobs.
Last year, Moore decried homosexuality and sharply criticized a bill that he said would permit "men to marry men and women to marry women." He became the archenemy of the city's politically active gay community. Now, Moore doesn't push the issue. His Ward 4 campaign coordinator, Phil Pannell, is an admitted homosexual long active in the Young Democrats and other liberal causes who worked for Dixon against Moore last summer.
Instead of speaking out this time against the proposed $99 million downtown convention center and a legalized lottery in the city, Moore favors public referendums on both issues. His personal views have not changed, he said, but he now feels voters should be allowed to decide both questions.
Moore, a minister whose council chairman campaign was hampered, in the view of some observers, by his apparent tendency to shoot from the hip, recently refused to say anything to a reporter unless it was approved by his campaign strategists.
"I get up every morning and they tell me what to do," he said of the new, more systematic campaign approach. "I'm a Methodist, not a Baptist."
Moore's advisers believe that he still enjoys strong support among the city's black clergymen, many of the liberal community activists both black and white--and poor persons who have identified with Moore's self-proclaimed status as a "people champion."
Ray's new-found status as an appointed incumbent and an election front-runner is due in large part to the Aug. 30 decision to abandon his own obscure campaign for the Democratic nomination for mayor and to endorse Barry's campaign instead.
Ray actively campaigned with Barry, worked on his transition team and after Barry's inauguration was selected by the D.C. Democratic State Committee as the mayor's choice to be Barry's interim replacement on the council.
Barry has enthusiastically endorsed Ray for the May 1 election and the new Ray political organization is in large part the old Barry one.Already Ray, with the support of people who raised funds for Barry, has collected nearly $50,000 for his campaign--five times as much as Moore and four times as much as Ray raised for his mayoral campaign.
Already, with Barry's political blessing, Ray has become one of the few outsiders of sorts to join the club of former community activists, holdovers from the appointed City Council and graduates of the school board who dominate the big league of home-rule politics.
"Obviously, Marion's presence is felt here," Ray said the other day, sitting in his campaign office as several former Barry campaign aides worked the telephones and Ray thumbed through a list of campaign workers that included a significant number of persons who had raised money for Barry.
Ray's political platform stresses better housing, improved public schools, a more adequate public transportation system in the city and a tax system that, he says, would "encourage economic development." He also said he wants to give more people jobs and thereby decrease the city's welfare rolls.
Moore and Ray have similar stances on many issues. Both share a strong base with the city's political influential black church community. Even many of Barry's aides, former militants like Moore and the mayor, privately concede that in last year's council chairman race, they voted for Moore.
Ray hopes to beat Moore with the same strategy that Dixon used--stressing Moore's maverick past and alleged lack of productivity as a legislator.
The nine other candidates in the race offer a wide variety of political alternatives. Minister Lin Covington, 43, is promising a "people's agenda." Office administrator David G. Harris said he would like to investigate the inefficiences of city government. Parole officer Warren A. Hemphill says the problem with the City Council is "too much influence by outside sources."
Also running are book publisher and former Republican Jackson R. Champion, manpower specialist Richard Blanks Sr., retired Air Force sergeant H. Chris Brown and Hector Rodriguez, who is trying to be the first Latino elected to the council.
Stuart Rosenblatt, an organizer for the U.S. Labor Party, is also a candidate, along with Frances Goldman.
There are 15 candidates in the race to replace Dixon as the council member representing the middle and upper income Ward 4 area of Northwest Washington, and ward as well as city-wide issues dominate the contest.
About half a dozen persons are considered front-runners for the seat, most of whom have active backgrounds in the numerous neighborhood and community organizations in the area.
Those six are businessman and community activity Norman C. Neverson, school board member Victoria T. Street, former City Council aide Barry Campbell, retired management analyst Dorothy M. Maultsby, beautician Goldie C. Johnson, psychologist Charlene Drew H. Jarvis.
Felix B. Redmond announced his withdrawal from the race last week. The other candidates are teacher Robert V. Brown, Ernest Bowman, Howard University Administrator Andrew Coleman, community activist Nathaniel (Nate) Sims, youth counselor Gregory Rowe, the Rev. William Revely, utility manager Malcolm W. Diggs and Mary Prahinski, who has been active in civil rights activities and the Democratic Party.
Several of the 11 candidates for the school board seat said only a few forums have been held and the school strike has yet to create more interest in the first ever nonregular election to fill a school board vacancy.
The candidates include insurance salesman Samuel R. Carson, Anacostia Community School Board Chairman Eugene Kinlow, budget analyst Charlotte R. Holmes, James E. Nutall and Vincent S. Jones.
Other candidates include Rohulamin Quander, a lawyer who has worked with various juvenile programs, Howard University administrator John H. Wallace, Joseph Webb of the Franklin Adult Education Center downtown, Hilton Cobb, Dick Brown and David Wellington.