Ward 1 activist Bryan Weaver, a Democratic candidate in the April 26 special election for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council, unveiled what appears to be the first video advertisement of the campaign Monday.
The ad features Weaver, a former advisory neighborhood commissioner who unsuccessfully ran against council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) last year, working in various settings on what he calls “D.C.’s dirtiest jobs.”
In between being a dog walker, bowling shoe cleaner, spittoonier, street cleaner, towel boy, dishwasher, busboy and conservationist, Weaver takes a few subtle jabs at D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D) and interim council member Sekou Biddle (D), also a candidate in the race.
While playing the part of a leasing agent about midway through the video, Weaver stands in front of a black SUV and asks, “What do I have to do to get you into this vehicle?
“It comes fully loaded. I will even throw in the undercoating,” said Weaver, an apparent reference to Brown’s decision to request a taxpayer-funded, “fully loaded” Lincoln Navigator shortly after taking office.Later, while playing the part of a political consultant, Weaver appears to mock Biddle’s unsuccessful attempt to knock him off the ballot.
“No job is as dirty as this one,” Weaver states at the end of the ad. “We’ve come to clean this place up.”
Untraditional low-budget campaign videos have become a staple for how Weaver tries to compete in elections against better-funded candidates. The YouTube video he made for his race against Graham was viewed more than 83,00 times, a stunning figure in a ward with only 56,000 registered voters.
Still, Weaver faces considerable challenges in his race against Biddle and eight other candidates.
Weaver, who remains relatively unknown citywide and entered the race only days before the filing deadline, reported just $20,000 in the bank as of March 10, according to the Office of Campaign Finance. Former council member Vincent B. Orange, also a candidate, reported $191,000 in the bank.
Orange, Biddle and Republican Patrick Mara are advertising in neighborhood and niche newspapers. Biddle, Orange and Mara also have well-organized campaign efforts to help them turn out voters for what is expected to be a low-turnout election.
But Weaver’s message of “oversight, accountability and reform” appears to play well with bloggers and progressive voters who live in center city. The D.C. YouthPAC, made up of activists 18 to 30 years old, voted on Saturday to endorse him.