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Fenty, Gray get early start on ballot signatures

Mike DeBonis

The city's two prime mayoral combatants wasted no time this morning in trying to get on this fall's primary ballot.

Today is the first day that candidates may begin gathering the voter signatures necessary to get their names on Sept. 14 ballots. The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened its offices at 8:30 a.m.this morning, and staffers for incumbent Adrian M. Fenty and challenger Vincent C. Gray were waiting outside to gather their petition forms when the doors opened, according to board spokeswoman Alysoun McLaughlin.

By the time a reporter arrived at around 8:40 a.m., Fenty staffer John Falcicchio and Gray staffer Charles Cotten had already picked up their candidates' petitions and left. Douglass Sloan, challenging Eleanor Holmes Norton for her congressional delegate seat, also had come and gone.

Other Democratic mayoral candidates (or their staff) made early appearances. Activist Valencia Mohammed collected petitions on behalf of mayoral hopeful Leo Alexander. Candidate Ernest Johnson personally visited One Judiciary Square, as did fellow aspirant Patrick J. Tayman.

"I want to beat up Fenty up so bad," Tayman crowed as he entered the room. "He'll be running scared."

One elected official paid a personal visit: At-Large Council member Kwame R. Brown (D), who is seeking to replace Gray as council chairman. Arriving shortly before 9 a.m., Brown pressed the flesh inside the BOEE offices, personally greeting and thanking board employees.

He earned an endorsement from Tayman, who said that he looked forward to working with Brown as council chair. "We're going to meet with the council, work with them, and get the work done," Tayman pledged.

Brown declined to return the endorsement. "In the mayoral race, I'm being neutral," he explained.

Brown proceeded to get an early start on his signature-gathering. Just outside the building's doors, he collected his first John Hancocks. Ward 5 Democratic activist Timothy Thomas filled in the No. 2 spot on Brown's petition. "Shoulda been No. 1!" he said.

The petition kicks off a rush for signatures of registered voters. For the next six weeks, residents can expect to encounter petition circulators at community meetings, outside Metro stops, and in supermarket parking lots.

For the Democratic ballot, citywide candidates have to collect 2,000 signatures to qualify; ward candidates need only collect 250. Signatures are due July 7.

By Mike DeBonis  |  May 14, 2010; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty , Mike DeBonis , Vincent C. Gray  
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Posted by: drfields | May 14, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"I want to beat up Fenty so bad."

Now that is a man focused on the issues.

Funny thing, the day after you assault him. You have to do the job. WHAT are you going to do?

But then again, Negroes are dumb so just make the campaign like a Jerry Springer show and they will tune in and support.

Posted by: politicalrealist | May 14, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Patrick J. Tayman is a caucasion gentleman, so why do you think that people of color would want to watch or even care bout this gentleman or his rant about Mr. Fenty?

Please take your racist rants to another post.

Posted by: lacairaine | May 15, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

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