Candidates for delegate were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Capitol Hill: The D.C. delegate has no vote in Congress, the full voting rights drive is stalled, and statehood, if possible, is some time off. If you win the election, how would your presence on Capitol Hill be felt by District of Columbia residents during the next two years?
Qualifications: What is the most important reason why you should be elected instead of your opponent?
Walter E. Fauntroy (D), (Incumbent), 49, of 4105 17th St. NW, is pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church. He worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and is now board chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Active in urban renewal, he was vice chairman of the D.C. City Council and is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Capitol Hill: The delegate does have a vote in committee, gains seniority and can chair committees of the House. As a result of my experience and growing seniority on Capitol Hill, District residents will feel the effect of my work in four capacities: as the ranking member of the House District Committee; as a ranking member of Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee; as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; and as convener of the Metro Caucus. Specifically, they may expect: continued success in defending Home Rule Government-passed legislation from disapproval by Congress (only 2 of 700 bills passed by the Home Rule Government have been disapproved); relief for D.C. residents who have suffered from the cuts in human needs programs, the high interest rates and the high unemployment that are result of Reaganomics; direct and indirect relief from unnecessary and unfair RIF procedures; and increased federal funding for a complete Metro system.
Qualifications: The most important reason that I should be elected instead of my opponent is that District residents would otherwise lose a wealth of experience in building and maintaining an effective national network for support of District of Columbia interests, as well as the seniority which I have built that places me in a unique position among candidates for the office to influence decisions in the Congress.
John West (R), 49, of 237 57th Place NE, is a business executive and social worker. He is studying lobbying and legislative affairs at Catholic University and has served as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention.
Capitol Hill: My education in legislative and lobbying skills will benefit the residents of the District of Columbia. As their representative, I will ask the president of the United States, who is the leader of my party, for 70,000 jobs for the residents of this city in support of my Economic Recovery and Business Assistance Program. My presence on Capitol Hill will be felt by all D.C. residents as I would not be prejudiced to any Democrat, Republican or any person because of race or creed. The New Federalism can benefit the residents of this city if their congressional delegate knows how to consolidate the power created by the coming move of the special-interest groups and trade associations toward state government, thus making it possible for the D.C. delegate to influence dozens of votes.
Qualifications: John West can gain more concessions from Congress by having a good working relationship between the delegate and the majority who control the Congress. The residents of the District of Columbia will have a representative who will not be prejudiced toward people, playing blacks against whites to cover up his shortcomings, but, instead will bring peace and tranquillity to all of its residents. I am a member of the party that controls the Senate and the White House, I can have that relationship that is so vitally needed on Capitol Hill. I have the sensitivity necessary to stop the digressing and to guide Washington, D.C., to its proper place. A place in which the residents of D.C. and the nation can once again find an opportunity to better themselves.