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Council Members Endorse Schwartz

It's looking like political warfare on the D.C. Council as members line up behind candidates for the second at-large seat being contested in Tuesday's election.

DC At-Large Council member Carol Schwartz, who lost in the Republican primary to newcomer Patrick Mara, is waging a write-in campaign to keep her seat.

Minutes ago, her campaign announced that Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D) have endorsed Schwartz.

The council member took a heavy hit this week when Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) threw their support behind three-time candidate Michael Brown.

David Catania has endorsed Mara, and Marion Barry has said he's also supporting Brown.

The council has previously had an unwritten rule to not endorse other candidates over incumbents. But that agreement has been tossed aside.

Schwartz's news release quotes Graham as saying, "I strongly urge DC voters to vote for Council members Kwame Brown and Carol Schwartz by voting for Kwame on the ballot and by voting for Carol by writing-in Carol Schwartz. They are by far the most qualified candidates, and they deserve to be re-elected."

Council member Bowser, in an e-mail to her constituents, said, "I am very concerned that one woman may be knocked off the Council of the District of Columbia because of her support of working people, especially women. Carol Schwartz, like me, and a majority of the Council believed that DC workers should be able to earn sick leave... I have observed her sharp mind, her strong will and her willingness to speak up for the people of the District of Columbia ahead of personal interests."

Council member Bowser added, "I join with thousands of DC residents who encouraged Carol to wage this write-in campaign and greet her with mighty applause across the City. Carol is honest, tough, balanced and she has demonstrated that she will always put the interests of the District of Columbia before her own... I don't know what the outcome of Tuesday's at-large race will be, every indicator shows that Carol is running strong, but I know Carol can't win if we don't stand up and support her. On November 4, I will stand up for this woman as she has stood up for us. In addition to connecting the arrow for Kwame Brown, I will be writing in and connecting the arrow for Carol Schwartz for At-Large Member of the Council. It's the right thing to do."

Councilmember Mendelson said, "I wholeheartedly support -- and endorse -- Carol Schwartz. Her experience is vital to the Council's ability to conduct oversight. We need her continued presence."

Schwartz also quotes an article about her in which Jack Evans is mentioned: "Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, a longtime colleague, said that it is hard to imagine a Council without Schwartz. 'She would be missed' he said. 'She has a directness, a passion, and integrity that's hard to replace, and I've always had a good relationship with her.'"

Schwartz's release notes, "I am very touched by the support of my colleagues. Their words of support and their friendship mean a lot."

By Marcia Davis  |  October 30, 2008; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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I was solidly behind Brown until he came out against Michelle Rhee. He just lost the election over that.

Posted by: bbcrock | October 30, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

which brown, bbcrock? michael brown? how in the hell can anyone be behind a guy who's clearly in this for no one but himself?

Posted by: IMGoph | October 30, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Big surprise that Council Memebers all hang together. They think they have a right to their seats. I applauded Gray and Thomas and its time for a change!!!!Failing schools, crime high, budget in shambles, sure elect the same old people for more of the same. Wake up everybody!!!!! Where's Walter Washington when we need him.

Posted by: billnokesville | October 30, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Think about it: Carol lost the election because the business community did not like her legislation of mandatory sick time for DC employees. it sounds to me that now, more than ever, we need a Carol in the Council.

Posted by: dcpsychic | October 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, which Brown?

What do people think about Schwartzman?

Posted by: slats999 | October 30, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

As a friend of Councilmembers Graham, Mendolson and Bowser, I am indeed shocked that these democrats would endorse a republican Carol Schwartz over a fellow Democrat Mike Brown! What an embarassing and unfortunate turn of events. As a life long Democrat and 6 term member of the local Democratic party, I have supported each of these Democratic members in their races for the Council. I endorsed Muriel over Mike Brown in Ward 4 in the last race. I am upset and I will not stand by silently because to me party affiliation means something. Although I have known Carol for over 20 years she represents a republican party that does not represent my interests. Simple as that. The republican party is the party of Bush, Reagan and McCain. Enough said. The Democratic party is the party of Kennedy, Roosevelt, Clinton and Obama. And on that score, anyone remember the first black Chair of the Democratic party, his name was the late Hon. Ron Brown. Enough said. Party matters and I refuse to be silent when my Council friends are wrong. Let the record reflect Mr. Graham, Mr. Mendolson and Ms. Bowser you are wrong! You all owe your democratic supporters an explanation.This is a dark day for the Democratic party in Washington and all DC Democrats should stand up in righteous indignation at your shameful action!
Ron L. Magnus
Ward 5

Posted by: RonDC | October 31, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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