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Evans: I'll Run for Chairman if Gray Runs for Mayor

Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) confirmed today he plans to run for council chairman if incumbent Vincent C. Gray (D) decides to run for mayor next year.

Evans, who has held ambitions to ascend to the chairman's office since his unsuccessful mayoral bid in 1998, made his remarks during an interview with Bruce Depoyt on "NewsTalk" on NewsChannel 8.

"If Vince does runs for mayor, and the chair position is open, I would run for chair of the council," Evans said. "God knows who would run against me."

During the interview, Evans also said he thinks Gray could be a formidable challenger to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D).

"If he does run, I think it would be a very competitive race with Mayor Fenty, who is still very well-liked but Chairman Gray is also very well-liked," Evans said.

In addition to Gray, Council members Kwame Brown (D-At Large) and Michael Brown (I-At large) have also been mentioned as possible challengers to Fenty.

But Evans, first elected to the council in 1991, appeared dismissive of either's chances against Fenty.

Evans, chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, is regarded as a moderate, pro-business Democrat who has generally supported Fenty's agenda. If he ran for chairman, he would almost certainly face at least one - and probably several - credible opponent.

"It all depends on Vince Gray," Evans told Depoyt. "If he decides to go, we could have a very exciting summer" in 2010.

--Tim Craig

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 15, 2009; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  
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I would love for someone to run against Fenty and win! Just not sure that Vince Gray is that guy.If Gray does decide to run he needs to start showing DC residents that he's strong and is willing to ask Fenty and his team hard questions and demand answers. So far Gray has been wishy washy with Fenty,Rhee,Lanier and others,he gives them a pass when most of DC citizens want to know what the he_ _ is going on with the mayor and where is that person we knew in Ward 4, seems since Fenty became Mayor of DC all of his promises for DC went out the window.We need a very strong man/woman to run against Fenty.

Posted by: DCWatcher3 | October 15, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Jack Evans is everything that we don't need in a council chair. Did anybody see him on channel 8? To hear him defend Hartsock and criticize other council members for not voting for her was dusgusting. He doesn't get it. A legislative representative who was ok with her breaking the law. He made a very interesting comment directed to at-large members Brown and Brown. He implied that they were going to have a hard time explaining the Hartsock decision when they come to his ward because everyone in his ward were pleased with her work. That was a cheap shot and a set up statement. I would campaign and vote for anybody but Evans as chair. If Gray runs and is unsuccessful, he's out altogether and then we are stuck with a mayoral suck-up as chairperson of the council. That won't work. If he runs and is successful, we could still end up with Evans. Posters we have some thinking and discussing to do here. Looking for your feedback!

Posted by: candycane1 | October 15, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

How about Cathy Patterson for chair? Do you think she'd run and would you support her?

Posted by: efavorite | October 15, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I was a fool and voted for Jack Evans when he ran for mayor in 1998. I must have been under a spell of the Devil or on crack. I would never vote for Jack Evans as Council Chair nor wourl I vote for Vince Gray for mayor. I wish Fenty disappear and never be seen by the media.

Posted by: CaptainKangaroo | October 15, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I did not vote for Fenty the first time, and will not the next time. (I voted for Johns, and warned my neighbors about Fenty) I voted for Gray for Chairman, and would vote for him for Mayor. He is great with Civic lessons for children during his Saturday Council Sessions. If you think Fenty is the Marathoner, you should see Gray at the Council meetings he is always there, and doesn't take breaks from what I can see. Great stamina. He would work full time for the city, and be respectful of his constituents and those who work for him. First Class!!

Posted by: cwconners | October 15, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Earth to Jack, Earth to Jack! Get Real! You can not win citywide. You are perceived as corrupt and now as a toady for of all people, Adrian Fenty.

Kathy Patterson would be a great choice as Council Chair.

Gray has been a cypher and would be a complete disaster as Mayor. We need someone who will bust this culture of corruption Fenty has nurtured. Gray won't even suspend Jim "Taxi Cash" Graham from presiding over the committee his Cheif of staff was bribed (and accepted) $1500.00 to
influence. Uh, Jim did introduce the requested legislation.

Posted by: SoCali | October 15, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

In 1994 a solid 62% of DC voters enacted term limits for elected officials. In 2000 Jack Evans initiated legislation that eventually overturned the voter approved limits. Apparently Evans thinks he knows what is better for the city than the voters whom he represents ... and surprise, surprise - after having served on the city council for 18 years he now wants to be the Council Chairman.

Good grief, throw that bum out of office!

Posted by: ashafer_usa | October 15, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree with DCWasher3, you hit the nail on the HEAD !!

Posted by: onesugar | October 15, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how many Lawyers/Law School graduates do not respect the law, how many bosses blame their employees when something goes wrong, how many people under 40 think they know everything. Hey we have all three in our Mayor.

Posted by: cwconners | October 15, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Of note: Jack Evans was at a fundraiser for Clark Ray. Fighting against Mendo are you? Keep that in mind everyone. Check out city paper.

Posted by: candycane1 | October 16, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

to those who think Gray has caved in too much -- how could he redeem himself enough to be seen as a worthy candidate? What are someof the things he would need to do to build your confidence in him?

Posted by: efavorite | October 16, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Evans please run. After the election perhaps you can find a job in the business community along with Fenty, Rhee and a host of others who are runing this town.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | October 16, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

If DC residents throw the same old names into the hat we can expect more of the same mess in city government.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein -

Posted by: 2belinda | October 16, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

2belinda - could you be more specific?

For instance, do you think an absolute outsider is needed? What obstacles do you think they would face? How would they be better?

Posted by: efavorite | October 16, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Right on Candycane1. We recognize now that Fenty along with Rhee and Nickles must go. The question is Who is available to be a viable candidate. Vincent Gray is hoping he can be the candidate by default; the best of the worst. Jack Evans as council chair? Whose kidding who? We need to quickly identify a REAL candidate that the PEOPLE can get behind. There are MANY people who would work hard to get new leadership elected. Just working against Fenty is not enough --- we need to be working for someone who can effectively lead. Fenty has demonstrated the characteristics we don't need in a mayor. FENTY MUST GO!

Posted by: lightkeeper | October 16, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Mendelson, wherefor are you? Show thyself and make your request known.

Posted by: shank2sb | October 16, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I am hoping and praying Vincent Gray will run for Mayor. I love how engaged and intelligent his is as Council Chair. I've never seen other councilmembers as good at doing their homework, listening to constituents and making reasonable arguments and decisions on important issues. He is drama-free and a native Washingtonian with the interests of the WHOLE city in mind. He is compassionate but also very level-headed. A great potential mayor.

My only reservation about him running is the vacuum he would leave - and the disaster of Jack Evans getting the chairmanship. I have never seen anyone as shallow and disengaged as Jack Evans on the Council - well there have been a few others, but he is currently the worst. I'd rather see Cheh as Chair than Evans. At least she seems to be able to think objectively about issues and judge them with more than special interests in mind.

Posted by: DCcomm | October 16, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

efavorite wrote: to those who think Gray has caved in too much -- how could he redeem himself enough to be seen as a worthy candidate? What are someof the things he would need to do to build your confidence in him?

A much more aggressive response to the Jim Graham Bribery Scandal is needed regardless of Chairman Gray's future plans. Jim "Taxi Cash" Graham should be immediately suspended from his position as committee Chair. A thorough and far reaching investigation should be launched of ALL of Taxi Cash Graham's fund raising/personal wealth building and his ties to the the real estate industry, parking industry, health care industry, etc., etc., etc.

I have said it before here but it bears repeating. It is implausible to believe that taxi industry operatives directly gave 320K in cash to the Chair of the Taxi Commission yet only funneled a measly $1500.00 in the direction of the Chair of the presiding Council committee. It simply does not work that way. Taxi Cash Graham then introduced the desired legislation! HELLO!

After the slap on the wrist Gandhi got for allowing 50 million to evaporate from the city's coffers we would be better served by anyone who at least has the capacity to recognize that if it looks, quacks and walks like a duck, it is a duck!

Council Chair = Kathy Patterson
Mayor = Marie Johns

Posted by: SoCali | October 16, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Loose Lips and WBJ are reporting that Vince Gray has gotten into bed with DC Shadow Government, Doug Jemal controlled, astroturf, economic development (read real estate industry drones) organization WDCEP to stage "Economic Summit". So much for independence from status quo and rebuilding confidence.

Posted by: SoCali | October 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

We are all asking the most important question. Who?

Efavorite: To your question, what can Gray to redeem himself? That is the most compelling question because I am very guilty of tearing them apart when something happens and I look back and remember who voted for what. I get very upset. Then when they do something right, I do give them credit and will always say they are doing what they get paid to do.

I guess it's the wishy washiness of the council that has me not being able to take a stand except to say that I'll vote for anybody but Fenty.

Gray is a seriously smart guy. But this same guy who knows DC inside and out voted in ways that all authority has been given away. There are times when I think about all of the people that have been hurt and betrayed by this Fenty administration, it's the council that allowed that to happen. Then there are times when I try to give them another chance and they screw up and dissappoint compromising the trust once again.

To say what I want in Gray is easy. I want his talk to match his walk. But that has not been the case too many times. I'm just waiting for the "what" of these hearings. If nothing happens, if they don't give Rhee and Fenty the needed smackdown, then what's the purpose other than to make the council look good?

Just like Kwame Brown being confrontational with Nickles. Of all people being confrontational. If he had voted more than present we wouldn't have Nickles. Those are the type of things that tick me off so badly, this hindsight oversight.

Efavorite: I always tell you to keep working with me. I invite the feedback from all my poster friends.

Posted by: candycane1 | October 16, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

ABTFF -- Anybody but that fool fenty!

We DO need a real candidate but the current mayor cannot get back in.

Posted by: southyrndiva | October 16, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Fenty should win, Vincent Gray needs to solve the problem of the young poor thugs killing each other like ants. Why can't a white person run for mayor.

Posted by: nativeva1 | October 16, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I just vomited on my keyboard. Jack Evans' greedy self will have to give up his lucrative Patton Boggs gig, since Chairman is a full-time position that precludes outside employment. But unfortunately, you don't have to give up your job to RUN, and that's the closest Jack Evans will get to becoming Chair. He's a shameless Fenty sycophant, and he and Clark Ray (who seems to forget that he's supposedly running citywide, not for a Ward 2 Council seat) can hang out together on election night and count their vote percentage on one hand. I'd pay to see it. See you at the Park on 14th Jack - it'll be fun, I'll buy you a Bud Lite.

Posted by: DistrictIndependent | October 17, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for putting a plan together.

I think very highly of Vince Gray and think he'd be a remarkable - and strategic - mayor. I do believe he'd put the city ahead of his own interests (i.e., I'm sure he wouldn't focus on having press conferences everyday). However, Gray appears to have been been a disappointment as he doesn't seem to have a backbone that is strong enough. On the other hand, we don't know the intricate politics occurring within the JWB. But most people won't think like that and I think Gray will have a tough time beating Fenty. Too many "funders" are scared of Fenty and his vindictive administration and won't be willing to vote against him.

For those of us who want a change, it leaves us in a tough position. As much as I don't want Fenty in office, I don't know if there is a candidate who can beat him. Barry could beat Fenty but I don't want him in office either. And I doubt he'll run because of his health. Gray is the best chance we got but if he loses, we lose too much. I don't mean to sound hopeless, but it is how I feel.

I am, however, holding out hope for a MAJOR scandal to come out on Fenty. Only then do I think Gray will win against Fenty. If the WCP keeps doing their great investigative work, there's still a chance for a scandal to be uncovered....

Posted by: concernedcitizenindc | October 17, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

concernedcitizenindc: You and I are definitely on the same page with this issue.

Posted by: candycane1 | October 17, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

We say Chair not Chairman.

You know like firefighter not fireman. Get with it.

Posted by: 411Tibby | October 17, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Most of you are out to lunch-there isnt anyone who is going to beat Fenty- so I suggest you all get real and start considering 2014 as a possibility for some change.

Posted by: gladtoliveindc | October 18, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Jack Evans does even attend regular council hearings so how in the hell could he even think about being chair???

I would run first!

Posted by: | October 19, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

gladtoliveindc, stay tuned, Fenty is heading for a severe disappointment in the District. Residents aren't voting necessarily FOR his opponent, they will be voting AGAINST Fenty, no matter who runs. If it is Gray, he already has a citywide constituency and a major developer who has promised to raise $1 Million for whomever runs against Fenty.

This is called a formidable challenge.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 20, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Kathy Patterson would easily get my vote, again. She was an awesome councilmember and if given the chance will make a terrific chair of the council. She is both articulate and vastly intelligent. She would bring the council back to doing the business of the people and not of the developers.
Keith Jarrell

Posted by: | October 23, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Wonder why Evans doesn't just run for Mayor?
It would be clear that every developer in the city would put their money behind him.

Posted by: | October 23, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

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