DC Republicans: Brown Not Qualified to Serve
The D.C. Republican Party is challenging Michael Brown's victory for the At-large seat on the D.C. Council because he didn't officially change his party affiliation from Democrat to Inpendent to comply with election laws that one of the winning candidates has to belong to a minority party.
"We are filing this challenge to protect the minority rights of the District of Columbia to ensure that there is diversity in the government," said Paul Craney, executive director of the local GOP, who along with Charlie Spies, the party's legal counsel, filed a challenge with the D.C. Board of Board of Elections and Ethics this afternoon. The GOP wants the board to not certify the Nov. 4th election.
"Michael Brown can not be certified as a council member because this is a violation of DC Law that states that no more than three at-large members of the DC Council may be affiliated with the same party," Craney said.
But Dan Murphy, spokesman for the elections board, said that as far as the board can tell from a preliminary assessment, Brown did not violate any election law when he filed to run for the at-large seat.
"We have received the letter from the Republican Party and the board's general counsel is reviewing the letter to determine what action, if any, needs to be taken," Murphy said. "At this point the certification of election results is still scheduled for this Monday, November 24."
Brown, son of the late Ron Brown, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who died in a plane crash, received 71,304 votes to place second behind Democratic incumbent Kwame R. Brown, who received 171,318 votes.
Republican candidate Patrick Mara came in 4th with 37,264. In September Mara defeated Republican incumbent Carol Schwartz (R-At-large), who staged a write-in campaign. The number of people casting write-ins were 39,327 votes, and Murphy said one can assume that most of those votes were for Schwartz.
In an interview Brown said he followed proper procedure when he filed in May to run for the at-large seat. A month earlier he had lost the Democratic primary.
"We are very confident that the board of elections will certify our election on Monday and I am looking forward to serving the residents of the District of Columbia," Brown said.
Craney said if the board certifies Brown, the party's next step is the courts.
"We would file a challenge to this election in the D.C. Court of Appeals," Craney said.
Hamil R. Harris
November 20, 2008; 4:53 PM ET
Categories: D.C. Council
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