The Washington Post

Orange was kept waiting on a phone call

Update, 10:40 p.m.:

For most of the day after he was elected to the D.C. Council, Democrat Vincent B. Orange was still waiting for a congratulatory call from Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D), who heads up the 13-member body.

In an interview with The Washington Post about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Orange said he was “surprised” that Brown still had not reached out to welcome him to the council.

“I would have thought he would have called and said ‘congratulations, what does your schedule look like, can we get together and see how we could proceed,’ ” said Orange, who defeated eight opponents in Tuesday’s special election to fill Brown’s old at-large seat. “We’ve got work to do.”

Early Wednesday night, Orange got the call he’d been waiting for. And he said the two had a brief and pleasant conversation.

Brown, who supported Democrat Sekou Biddle in the election, has had a rocky relationship with Orange since the two men faced off in the heated chairman’s race. But Orange noted that other Biddle supporters have appeared more welcoming.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) showed up at Orange’s victory party Tuesday night shortly after he was declared the winner. Gray also opened his weekly news conference Wednesday by publicly congratulating Orange.

Orange said he had also fielded calls or e-mails from council members Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), both of whom endorsed Biddle.

Tim Craig is The Post’s bureau chief in Pakistan. He has also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and within the District of Columbia government.

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