Carol Schwartz, a former District of Columbia school board member who promised to bring an aggressive Republican voice to the City Council, defeated 15-year council veteran Jerry A. Moore Jr., yesterday in a battle for the GOP at-large council nomination.
Final but unoffical returns in the GOP primary showed Schwartz, 40, leading the 66-year-old Moore, 3,225 votes to 2,315. A third candidate, John West, trailed badly with only 57 votes.
In the Democratic primary, five incumbent council members easily won renomination.
Schwartz, a two-term school board member who left the board in 1982, characterized Moore during the campaign as a "lone Republican afraid to challenge or to lead."
She promised that she would bring fresh and agressive leadership to a council that is too often a "rubber stamp" for the executive branch and fails to use its oversight responsibility to make certain that city agencies are operating effectively.
Schwartz, at a victory party at La Plaza Restaurant in Northwest Washington, said she was ecstatic about her victory.
"I didn't think I would win," Schwartz said. "I was willing to lose to offer an alternative . . . . That's a victory, a real victory. I think it just shows a lot of strong support out there in spite of all the barriers placed in our way."
Moore, a black Baptist minister who was a presidential appointee to the council in 1969, raised more than $133,000 for the race -- a record amount -- and claimed that he was the only Republican candidate who could win in a general election in the District, which is predominantly black and Democratic. Schwartz is white.
Mayor Marion Barry and D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy said that Moore deserved to win and attributed Moore's loss to racism.
Asked to give an analysis of Moore's defeat, Barry said, "Unfortunately, I think racism has to do with it."
"I just think the Republicans made a mistake," said Fauntroy. "It would have been very good to have had a bipartiscan council. And, I think as a result of racism that creeped into the assessment of who served well on the council, we may well have a Republican-less council in 1985."
Fauntroy apparently was referring to the possibility that an independent or minor party candidate might run against Schwartz and defeat her in the November general election.
In an emotional 15-minute concession speech that left many of his supporters in tears, Moore said his service to the city will not end with his defeat.
"As a council person, I have had a wonderful romance with this city and a wonderful romance with the government of the District of Columbia," he said. "With your help, I have given it my best 15 years. It's been a great experience and I think the city is better because I have been there . . . .As the curtain draws down on 15 years of public service as a council member, I want you to know my service to this city does not end with that. I am still available and able to serve you."
In Ward 8, incumbent council member Wilhelmina J. Rolark received 3,066 votes compared to 1,461 votes for her chief opponent, school board member R. Calvin Lockridge. The other candidates in the race, Richard Smith, Leona Redmond and William M. Andrews Jr. received a total of about 12 percent of the vote.
Rolark called her victory a mandate to continue the legislative work that she had started. "I feel great," Rolark said. "I feel good that the real people came out and showed me that they wanted me again in the council. It was hard work and a dedicated campaign cabinet that put me in this seat again."
Although Lockridge conceded, he also vowed that his name would be on the ballot in November. "If honesty and integrity prevails with the Board of Elections and Ethics, I will be on the November ballot representing another party," said Lockridge, who did not elaborate.
In the hotly contested Ward 4 race, incumbent Charlene Drew Jarvis solidly defeated her lone challenger, school board member Barbara Lett Simmons, by 8,687 votes to 2,884 votes.
Three other incumbents also won renomination -- at-large member John Ray, with 90 percent of the vote; Ward 7 member H.R. Crawford, with 67 percent, and Ward 2 member John A. Wilson, who was unopposed.
Statehood Party candidate Josephine Butler, who was unopposed, received 90 percent of her small party's vote. She said last night she was gearing up to oppose Schwartz in November.
The Democratic nominees in the ward races will face write-in candidates in the November general election. The party nominees for the at-large council seats will face opposition from independent and minor party candidates -- including Butler -- in November.
The three incumbents who faced the stiffest opposition in yesterday's primary all received endorsements from Mayor Barry. In Ward 4, Simmons received enthusiastic support from Jesse L. Jackson, who appeared at a concert held in Simmons' honor at her request. Simmons had been a Jackson delegate to the Democratic National Convention and Jarvis had been a Walter F. Mondale delegate.
Ray and Crawford were heavily favored over opponents who were less well known. Ray's only opponent was Benoit Brookens, a lawyer and a community activist. Crawford was challenged by Johnnie Mae Scott Rice, former executive secretary for the D.C. Commission on Human Rights, and Harold Bell, a sports promoter.
Jobs, housing and economic development became the central issues in Ward 8. Lockridge claimed Rolark had failed to secure adequate services for the ward, which is located in far Southeast and is the city's poorest.
Rolark maintained that the ward had undergone a great deal of progress since she became a council member in 1976 and that she would continue to be responsive to the city's need to control crime, improve housing conditions and reduce high unemployment by supporting economic development projects.
In the Republican at-large race, Moore's opponents accused him of being reluctant to speak out on issues or take controversial positions.
Schwartz represented Ward 3, considered the base of the city's Republican Party, on the school board. In that ward, Republican voters outnumbered Democrats yesterday.
With the candidates predicting that 1,500 votes could decide the election, the Republican race quickly became a scramble for votes that included appeals to Democrats to switch to the Republican Party long enough to vote in yesterday's primary.