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Local GOP Endorses Schwartz

The D.C. Republican Committee endorsed D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz (At-Large) last night for both the primary and general elections, but Patrick Mara the candidate challenging Schwartz in the primary said he's pressing ahead.

So far, the GOP primary is emerging as one of the more interesting races in a city of Democrats.

"Carol's record advocating for DC taxpayers makes our unanimous endorsement an easy decision and the Party will help push her over the victory line in September and November," Robert J. Kabel, chairman of the DC Republican Committee, said in a statement.

In the release announcing the endorsement, the GOP said of Mara: "Schwartz's primary opponent has accepted sums of money from special interest, with only two donations coming from registered DC Republicans according to his last Finacial forms filed with the DC Office of Campaign Finance."

"Carol is one of the District's most beloved incumbents and is the Republican Party's leading figure. She is fighting for DC taxpayers and not the special interests funding her opponent's campaign," Kabel concluded.

Mara raised a remarkable $50,000 in two weeks.

Paul Craney, a spokesman for the committee said this afternoon that it is concerned about the origins of the Mara campaign and its funding, which include some Democrats and business owners from Maryland and Virginia.

"Special interests groups are funding his campaign," Craney said. "Who's doing the stationery? Who's setting up his website?"

Craney also said the party didn't learn of Mara's campaign until reading about it through the paper.

"If this money were coming from the grassroots of the GOP" that would be one thing,
Craney continued. "But to prop up a campaign so quickly without showing a plan to the Republican Committee leaves everyone scratching their heads."

Mara isn't backing away from the electoral fight, however, telling the D.C. Wire today that he's got the support of a number of Republicans and that he's not being funded by special interests.

"I think the DCRC is misguided," he said. "I look forward to educating them on my positions...
Eventually, I think they'll regret making the decision" to endorse Schwartz.

"I'm the first person who is going to give her a challenge in almost her entire career," Mara said, accusing Schwartz of walking away from GOP positions on issues ranging from tax increases to unions.

"You're going to see many, many more contributions and contributions from District Republicans who are about making a good choice in the primary and changing the direction of our city," he said.

Schwartz said today that she's pleased with the committee's endorsement.

"I understand that it was unanimous, and that is especially pleasing," she said.

As far as Mara goes, Schwartz said she's never ignored a challenger.

"I've always had a primary challenger. I've always had a general election challenger," she said. "And of course I take seriously any challenge."

By Marcia Davis  |  June 17, 2008; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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