Bob Roehr, a Republican candidate seeking the at-large City Council seat held by Jerry A. Moore Jr., withdrew from the race yesterday and endorsed candidate Carol Schwartz.
Roehr said he decided to withdraw from the race a week ago but did not make a public announcement until yesterday because he wanted to talk about the decision with others and "to say some things" at a few candidate forums before bowing out.
The battle for the at-large Republican seat is considered the most difficult race that Moore has faced during his 15 years as a council member. Moore has raised $133,000 for the race, and has said that he is better organized than he has ever been. Yet Schwartz, a former school board member, is viewed as a real threat to Moore, and the endorsement from Roehr could give Schwartz additional votes.
Roehr, a community activist who is openly homosexual said he collected about $6,000 in campaign contributions and concluded that he is no match for Moore.
"I feel that I cannot win the race and I think that that has become obvious," Roehr said. "The choice is now a clear one for the D.C. Republicans: Jerry Moore and his 15-year record of impotence and the unceasing decline of the D.C. Republican party, or Carol Schwartz and the hope for a new beginning."
Schwartz and John West, a private contractor and a former alternate delegate to the Republican convention, are now Moore's only challengers.
Schwartz said yesterday that she could have defeated Moore in a four-way race but welcomed Roehr's support. "I'm pleased," she said. "It [Roehr's support] is a real nice thing to come at this time."
During the campaign, Roehr accused Moore of being uncomfortable as the lone Republican on the City Council, and said that the D.C. Republican Party declined in membership and vitality under Moore's leadership.
"I believe that the D.C. Republican Party must be represented by a truly active member of the council," Roehr said. "That is the only way we will become more than a laughingstock in local governmental affairs. That is the only way we will be able to establish a partisan balance in the District Building."