Two Takoma Park men, both independent of the Citizens for Sound Government organization that now controls the City Council, have declared their candidacies for mayor.
Sam Abbott, who ran unsuccessfully in 1978, and Ron Wylie, a lawyer who has served on the governing board of the Washington Adventist Hospital, both announced plans to run last week.
Abbott, a free-lance graphic artist, lost by eight votes to incumbent Mayor John Roth in the last citywide election in 1978. Nearly 2,150 votes were cast.
"I've been running since then," Abbot said. "I'm still campaigning on the same issues, since they haven't been addressed by this City Council."
Abbott supports the proposed charter amendment, which will be on the ballot in the March 25 election, to elect council members on the basis of voting districts.
"I want to break the slate," he said, "and I won't do it by running a slate of my own. I'm running alone."
The Citizens for Sound Government is expected to run a full slate of candidates for the mayor's job and seven council seats. Since the group's formation in 1952, it has swept every election in Takoma Park. Its candidates are to be formally nominated at a caucus Feb. 26.
Abbott had also called for placing the city under the jurisdiction of one county. At present, about two thirds of Takoma Park is in Montgomery County; the rest lies in Prince George's.
Wylie says he decided to run "as an alternative to the present polarized situation.
"We have two people (Abbott and Roth) venting their personal feuds against one another," he claimed. "We need to get on with running our city."
City Council sessions in the past year often have seen Abbott and Roth leveling criticism at one another during the portion of the meeting reserved for citizens' comments.
"We need help in mass transit and housing," Wylie said. "These are the things to address."
Wylie says he is not adverse to other candidates running with him and against the Citizens for Sound Government.
"Initially I hoped another slate wouldn't be necessary," he said. "But I am considering encouraging others to run with me. It may be the only way to see changes."
The incumbent, John Roth, has not yet decided whether he will run for mayor again.
"Let's just say I'm engaged in conversations about it," he said. "I am not prepared to make a public statement."