Kelvin Robinson to run at-large for D.C. council
Kelvin J. Robinson confirmed to DC Wire this morning that he's entering the race for the Democratic nomination for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council.
Robinson will face off against incumbent Phil Mendelson (D) and Clark E. Ray, the former director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Robinson, an ANC commissioner from Ward 6, had initially thought about challenging Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6). But Robinson, who was chief of staff to former Mayor Anthony Williams, said he decided his skill set was better suited citywide.
"What happens in Ward 6 is a microcosm of what I believe is happening across the city," Robinson said. "Residents feel disconnected from the city government and don't like the rancor."
Robinson said he won't make his campaign about Mendelson, who is seeking a fourth term. Instead, Robinson said he will focus on education, juvenile crime, neighborhood revitalization and job creation.
During his work for Williams, Robinson takes credit for "ensuring city services were responsive" to residents and "initiating efforts to reduce crime and vacant properties," according to his biography.
In a three-way race with Mendelson and Ray, Robinson would be the only African-American candidate. But Robinson said he does not expect his race to be an issue in the campaign, even though 54 percent of city residents are black.
"I think what gives me the advantage is the ideas I have and that is what I am going to be touting," Robinson said. "If folks vote for me for other reasons, then great, but I believe folks will vote for me because I have the right ideas at the right time."
After last year's council vote to legalize same-sex marriage, there could also be room in the primary for the at-large seat for a candidate who opposed that decision. Both Mendelson, who helped push the bill through the council, and Ray, who is openly gay, are strong supporters of the same-sex marriage law.
But Robinson said he will not be campaigning against the same-sex marriage bill, even though he's not sure if he would have supported it at the time.
"I would have probably done a different approach, but it's the law of the land and I have no quarrel with it,' Robinson said.
April 14, 2010; 2:19 PM ET
Categories: D.C. Council , Tim Craig
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