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Schwartz to Run as Write-In

Carol Schwartz, the Republican member of the D.C. Council who was defeated last week in a targeted and well-financed race by newcomer Patrick Mara, is running as a write-in candidate for the at-large spot in the general election.

Schwartz made the announcement from her campaign office on U Street this afternoon. The room, Nikita Stewart reports, was packed with supporters and news media.

Schwartz, a longtime council member, has strong name recognition in the city, second only to Marion Barry as a political fixture. She has built a reputation in the District among voters for her aggressive efforts at accountability, especially involving the executive branch. She has been a proverbial thorn in the side of Barry and other mayors, including Adrian M. Fenty. Schwartz ran for mayor four times herself, each time winning over Democratic voters and earning their respect for having the moxie to run in a town where Republicans are less than 10 percent of the electorate.

Do you think Schwartz has a chance to win as a write-in? Would you vote for her? Let us know in our online poll.

"I am here today to say as Mark Twain once said, 'The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," Schwartz said this afternoon.

She said she started considering running as a write-in on Thursday while she was resting in Rehobeth, where she has a house. She had gone there, she said, after the grueling primary race.

She returned yesterday afternoon with her decision, Schwartz said, and it was then that she began to write her announcement. She called supporters last night and this morning to ask for their help, she said.

Schwartz noted in an interview that she did not contact her colleagues on the council or the officials on the local D.C. Republican Committee before making her announcement.

She wrestled with the fact that she would be running against the committee, which had endorsed her in the primary and is now supporting Mara as the winner of that election, she noted.

"Working opposite those who did so much so recently for me is something I do not take lightly," Schwartz continued, " but I also do not take lightly my primary opponent's extremely nasty, dishonest and unfair efforts to undermine my record, a record of which I am justifiably proud.

Last week, she was outrun and outfinanced by Mara, who campaigned on the premise that the council's lone Republican simply wasn't Republican enough. He defeated her with about 60 percent of the vote among GOPers, who make up about 7 percent of District voters. Members of the business community, upset with Schwartz for her support of legislation requiring they offer sick leave to workers, had helped to finance Mara's run.

Schwartz has criticized Mara for running a negative campaign, so much so that she had refused to make the traditional courtesy call to congratulate him on his win.

By Marcia Davis  |  September 15, 2008; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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Next: Quick Poll: The 'Carol Contingency'


Way to go back on your word. Typical.

There was a reason voters asked her to exit the stage.

Posted by: Give It Up | September 15, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Guess that means for sure the "other" seat will go to Statehood Green. At least if her campaign gains any traction.

Posted by: ah | September 15, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Carol! I am a Democratic voter who has lived in D.C. since 1982, and I have voted for her every time she has run, whether for council or to be mayor. And this time will be no exception!

Posted by: DCSteve | September 15, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

She is ridiculous, this is so embarrasing, you lost, go spend your millions and learn to be happy.

Posted by: Babs | September 15, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Democrats love her so much shows why she needed to loose the GOP primary. The people have spoken but Schwartz doesn't care about their verdict. Tyical DC Council egotisical pettiness.

Posted by: Andy | September 15, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey Carol, keep fighting. This was nothing more than Swift Boating at it's worst. Hopefully Carol will win or a Democrat will win. The slime ball that is running as a republican doesn't deserve the seat.

Posted by: Bill S. | September 15, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Andy Harris and Patrick Mara are going to take an absolute beating. Running a campaign that says youre not conservative enough in a moderate to liberal district is suicide. Even if they get elected they will be irrelevant, it is obvious both are in it for the game of politics and not committed to serving anyone other than themselves.

Posted by: Mike | September 15, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it time to retire. Schwartz who opposed Fenty's school restructuring, opposed the smoking ban, opposed marriage equality until she was embarrassed into supporting it and then didn't support it but said she isn't opposed to it should just give it up.

The City doesn't need her -her ego is just so big she can't step off the stage.

I hope the residents of the City give her a resounding no for once and for all.

Posted by: concerned citizen | September 15, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Ah", you're forgetting the independents. I imagine Michael Brown, at least, will get more votes than the Statehood Green candidate.

Posted by: KCinDC | September 15, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Did Hillary run as a write-in or did she seek unity in her party? She should accept the results of the people and retire. I was against Carol for her insane policy supporting smoking in restaurants and bars -- and had already decided that as a Democrat I was against her this time. Thanks to the Republicans for discarding her in their primary.

Posted by: dave | September 15, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse


But then again what do you expect from someone who is still completely inexperienced in the workings of a city even thought she has been serving on the council off and on for 24 years.

Watching her at Council Meetings is incredibly embarrasing as she attempts to sound authoratative on a variety of subjects in which she obviously has no idea. After ~24 years on the council, you would think she would be able to understand city legislation, be able to read and understand city contracts, budget and financial info. But no...listening to her or watching her talk is like watching GWB talk about the economy, or foreign policy.

She is simply upset that she lost her ~130K a year gravy train we are paying her for her part time service.

Go away Carol. The voters have spoken.

Frank - Ward 3

Posted by: Frank | September 15, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It worked for Lieberman, so why not Schwartz. Also, it's kind of hard to say "the people have spoken" when you're talking about a small percentage of an already small 7% of registered voters in DC. More like the unhappy curmudgeons who can't compete in DC's political marketplace have spoken.

Posted by: cuffdc | September 15, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The only good thing Schwartz did was oppose the smoking ban. Too bad Catania caved on that one.

Posted by: Navy Yard | September 15, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Carol Schwartz was against the smoking ban in DC restaurants. It was a public health issue and she was on the wrong side of it. Smokers don't have the "right" to ruin my meal (unless they offer to pay for it), they don't have the "right" to infest my clothes with smoke (unless they pay for the dry cleaning) and they don't have the right to fill my lungs with smoke. She won't get my vote.

Posted by: trace1 | September 15, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Carol Schwartz is within her right to run as a write-in candidate. She is not abandoning her party; although, she is going against it. If Representatives and Senators can go against their parties on votes for laws, confirmations, and other such actions, why can't a local official? She's got an uphill battle, but it's one that's well within the tenet of democracy.

Posted by: Philip | September 15, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

cry me a river, Carol - imagine, politics being part of a polital race..

Posted by: geez | September 15, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

How was Mara's campaign "dishonest and unfair"? Can someone please cite examples of how the Schwartz record was misrepresented? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Cuffdc, perhaps you misunderstand the primary process? The only people who were eligible to vote in the Republican primary were registered Republican voters. So, yes, "the people" spoke -- as in the people who were registered to vote in the Republican primary. Maybe a good civics overview would be in order for you.

Posted by: anonymously | September 15, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The bigger issue within the DC GOP is why they were endorsing a politician in a primary fight only to have her later decide that even though the voters in the party no longer support her, she still deserved re-election. What about that DC GOP? Politicians and their egos......

Posted by: Brandon | September 15, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

This is almost too funny for words. Miss Carol will exit DC politics this November the same way she first got elected to the DC Council in 1984.

In 1984, then Mayor Marion ran a write-in campaign with the backing of the Dems on the DC City Council and the Bary machine for the person Miss Carol defeated. The write-in failed and Miss Carol won.

Now Miss Carol will run a write-in campaign on her own. The only question is will the Stathood/Green Party candidate get more votes than Miss Carol.

As they say in life there is no fool like an old fool. Poor Carol!

Posted by: Poor Carol | September 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree, with many many more people voting in the general election, Carol would fare better. I'd write her in.

Posted by: Bill Monroe | September 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Schwartz: Wake up! The voters are tired of your ineffective leadership. You can barely speak coherently and have done virtually nothing while in office. The fact that you were defeated 60-40% should tell you that it is time for you to give it up.

Be gone already. Really. Shoo fly, shoo.

Posted by: Voting Against Carol | September 15, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Write-ins are about the hardest way to run for office. I think that Carol might act mostly as a spoiler for Mara, although he's a long-shot at best. Michael Brown is still the odds-on-favorite for second place in this race. I don't think anyone seriously questions that Kwame Brown will come in first.

Posted by: BobinDC | September 15, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Mara stands little to no chance of beating Michael Brown, the Democrat running as an Independent in the general election.

I am not too fond of Carol Schwartz of late, she still speaks a big game, but doesn't back it up in her voting on the council. She has become a part of the rubber stamp mechanism that has allowed the rabid Mayor and his gustapo acting attorney general embarrass the city over and over again.

If she is unsuccessful in her bid as a write-in, you will be calling Michael Brown, Councilman.

Posted by: DoseOfReality | September 15, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Carol, like many of her colleagues on the council, has become lazy. Its time to kick her azz to the curb. Vote Mara.

Posted by: Vote Mara | September 15, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Patrick's ridiculous campaign included sending multiple (at least 20) mailings with Carol's photos. It was as if Halloween came early and I kept getting witch photos in the mail.

His complaint that she's not responsive to constituents is dead on--she acts like a pompous princess and doesn't represent anyone but herself. It's like the damn Evita soundtrack.

I don't intend to vote for the witch nor Pugsley Addams Patrick Mara.

Posted by: Republican. really. | September 15, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

We didn’t vote for her because she DOES NOT represent the people anymore.

Her loud-mouthed rude and obnoxious antics every time she speak does more to harm progress than help.

Her outcome in the general election will be even worse than expected considering everyone wants “Change” this year

Good Riddance...Perhaps we can now get DC out of Ghetto Status…

Posted by: Yawn | September 15, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Carol rocks ... Babs STFU!

Posted by: Skinny | September 15, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Why won't this woman go and get an honest job?!

We need term limits in D.C. Carol Schwartz has been on the public dime for a generation now. She needs honest work. This is ridiculous.

Posted by: Not Surprised | September 15, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Carol is not responsive to constituents AT ALL. I emailed her and politely asked her to explain why she was voting against the smoking ban. Never heard back. Usually, council offices at least have canned emails that get sent out. I really didn't appreciate her "let them eat cake" attitude.

I always got more of a response from Jack Evans -- who isn't even my council rep.

Posted by: trace1 | September 15, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I am going to work for, contribute to and write in Carol. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than to deliver a strong beating to the right wing republican mob.

Posted by: Greg | September 15, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The Posts' election coverage states that Mara received 2,234 votes. Compare that figure to the 85,885 votes Schwartz received in the 2004 general election (, and I think it's hard to claim with a straight face that "the people have spoken." Rather, the participants in the Republican primary have spoken. The general election will give people the chance to decide if they still want her.

Posted by: argo0 | September 15, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Boo! Hiss!!

I thought we had "sore loser" laws to prevent this.

When you lose your primary, that should be a CLUE that it is time for you to find another line of work. Get out there in the private sector and enjoy the vineyards that you've been tending for the last 24 years.

Of course if you don't have any discernable skills, toiling in a vineyard might not be a lot of fun.

Posted by: Chris | September 15, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Can't take the hint, huh Big Mouth? Have another cigarette and think about moving to Miami.

Posted by: checkered.1 | September 15, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Go Carol Go!!!! Trust she will be re-elected

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Ordinarily, I would agree with those who say Schwartz should accept the verdict of her party and bow out gracefully. That's what I thought when Lieberman lost in Connecticut.

But DC's law that essentially provides affirmative action for non-Democrats would have the effect of giving a tiny number of people -- a fraction of the 7 percent of DC voters who are registered Republicans -- the ability to place someone on the Council who is clearly not reflective of the political viewpoints of DC's voters. That law is itself undemocratic and, in my view, illegitimate.

Therefore, if Carol wants to take her case to the voters, it's ok with me. And if they toss her out, that's ok too.

Posted by: Meridian | September 15, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to figure out why I need a civics lesson for pointing out that it's laughable for anyone to consider the votes of less than 7% of registered DC voters to be the "voice of the people." If Republicans want to put their money where their mouth is, maybe they should oppose the DC law that deliberately thwarts the "people's will" by giving away council seats to non-winners.

Posted by: cuffdc | September 15, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I do not understand why any sane "Republican" in the district would vote for Mara. Although he is to the right of Carol, he simply does not have a shot at winning the race against Brown or Hunter in a city that is 90% Democratic. Those that do support Mara should watch what they wish for. WITHOUT Carol, the DC council would have no Repulbicans. Mara should just move back to Rhode Island.

Posted by: Carol Rules | September 15, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

A vote for Mara is a vote for Michael Brown

Posted by: DC Resident | September 15, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Not speaking for Carol Schwartz, but Andy Harris is not in it "for the game of politics" and is fully committed to serving the people of Maryland's first district. He should be left out of the Carol Schwartz discussion, as the two are totally unrelated.

Posted by: Kelly | September 15, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The law that guarantees 2 "non-majority" seats on the Council is part of the Home Rule Charter. Only Congress can change that (after a number of other steps). It was a concession to the Republicans so it would be unlikely to change, maybe with the new congress....

But telling folks if they don't like a law to change it don't work in DC

Posted by: lin | September 15, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Skinny fu--- you back, she will lose and you with her.

Posted by: Babs | September 15, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"Those that do support Mara should watch what they wish for. WITHOUT Carol, the DC council would have no Repulbicans."

I think the point is that Carol is a Democrat in Republican clothing. With or without her there are no "Republicans" on the council.

Posted by: Chris | September 15, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

She opposed the smoking ban and she opposed school reform.

She's a colorful, charming woman. But her stands on the issues were outdated at best.

Posted by: Hillman | September 15, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Is this story an early April Fool plant?

Posted by: April Fool | September 15, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I have been a registered Democrat in the District of Columbia since July of 1976. Carol Schwartz is tired and have become lazy like former D.C. Council Chair Linda W. Cropp. I never get any responses from Carol Schwartz and if I do, it's about 6 weeks later. CAROL SCHWARTZ IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I WOULD FOR FOR COUNT DRACULA, BEFORE I VOTE FOR YOU LAZY NON RESPONDING AZZ. She's another Eleanor Holmes-Norton. This loud mouth crazy woman need to retire from Congress, but the few voters in D.C. continue to elect her. Most people in D.C. don't vote, because D.C. politicians are corrupt and in bed with big business. These are the idiots who overturn Term Limits, thanks to Jack Evans leading way to overturn Term Limits.

Posted by: Ward 4 Voter | September 15, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to get rid of Schwartz. I had some growing on the bottom of my foot once for years!

Posted by: johng1 | September 15, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I have been a registered Democrat in the District of Columbia since July of 1976. Carol Schwartz is tired and have become lazy like former D.C. Council Chair Linda W. Cropp. She need to retire and continue to smoke cigarettes with her deep sounding voice. I never get any responses from Carol Schwartz and if I do, it's about 6 weeks later. CAROL SCHWARTZ IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I WOULD VOTE FOR COUNT DRACULA, BEFORE I VOTE FOR YOUR LAZY NON RESPONDING AZZ. You are another another Eleanor Holmes-Norton. This loud mouth crazy woman need to retire from Congress too, but the few voters in D.C. continue to elect her. Most people in D.C. don't vote, because D.C. politicians are corrupt and in bed with big business. These are the idiots who overturn Term Limits, thanks to Jack Evans leading the way to overturn Term Limits.

Posted by: Ward 4 D.C. Voter | September 15, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

A bunch of people have said: Go away Carol. The voters have spoken.

What, all 6 of you? That's not really enough to say that anyone has spoken. She will win and you can keep complaining about her from Arlington or where ever you live.
I'm all for paid sick leave and smoking in bars. Both of those things make sense. Unpaid sick leave puts business, which isn't a living being, over people. And businesses need people to work for them. Amazingly simple isn't it? Treating employees like human beings is apparently unconservative. "but they might call in sick" you say. Boo hoo. If you keep voting republican, nobody will have a job soon and we can all stay home on, what you consider glorious, unpaid leave.
And I would much rather be in a smokey bar than one that smells like ammonia. But that's just my opinion. At least it's more thought out than most of yours. I did say most, so I might not be taking about you. Think of that before you go on some mindless blog attack.

Posted by: mr. dobalina | September 15, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Good! I hope she wins the general election.

Posted by: Nova | September 15, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I guess she didn't want to get a job in which she would be held accountable for her performance.

Posted by: AB | September 15, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Mara will lose in the general election. As a lifelong DC Republican, I am ashamed of my party for electing a losing candidate. Carol might be a RINO, but at least she cares about DC residents and has a record to prove it. I do not want a candidate who is only concerned about the Maryland or Virginia business communities, a candidate who won the primary because of two companies that pumped thousands of dollars into his campaign. I would tend to agree that a vote for Mara is a vote for Dee Hunter or Michael Brown.

Posted by: arg1 | September 15, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Likelihood of her winning off a Write-in vote?

Less than 1%

With as much (or shall I say little) progress that DC has accomplished in her time there, I think at this point we could replace every single one of them with elementary school children that don’t speak English, and get better results and leadership.

Good riddance.

Posted by: Yawn | September 16, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

It is clearly time for Carol Schwartz to go. Give the seat up.

Posted by: Bob | September 16, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

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