Sulaimon Brown first to collect needed signatures for mayor's race, he says
Sulaimon Brown said Thursday that he's the first mayoral candidate to collect the 2,000 signatures needed to secure a spot on the ballot in the September Democratic primary.
Brown, who plans to file his petition with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics next week, said this demonstrates that he's a sleeper candidate -- if there is to be one -- in what appears to be a two-man race between Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D).
"We got out there and hit the ground running," Brown said.
But according to D.C. for Democracy - a group that pushes for statehood and a variety of progressive causes - Brown isn't worthy of vying for the group's endorsement.
Brown, 40, was excluded from the group's candidates forum last night, even though Gray and Fenty and former television reporter Leo Alexander were invited to appear.
"They are going to regret this," Brown said after being excluded. "How can they stand for democracy and not stand for democracy in their own city?"
Jesse Lovell, communications chairman for D.C. for Democracy, said Brown was excluded because no members of his organization suggested that he should be there.
"If any member would have come along and said, 'I think such and such person should be added,' " I would have gone ahead and added him," Lovell said, noting that there are 11 declared candidates for mayor. "If we included him, we would have had to include virtually every candidate in town."
Brown's exclusion highlights the dilemma organizations face when trying to sponsor candidates forums. As Lovell noted, a forum with 11 candidates will probably be either dull or unruly, leaving little time to question the candidates widely believed to have the best shot at winning.
But, as Brown noted, is it fair to include Alexander but keep him out?
Not only is Brown apparently the first candidate to collect the signatures - which arguably is a sign that he has some grass-roots support - he also ranked third behind Fenty and Gray in a Washington Post poll conducted in January. Brown received 3 percent of the vote compared with Alexander's 2 percent.
-- Tim Craig
Washington Post Editors
| June 3, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
Categories: 2010 District Election, D.C. Council, Mayor Fenty, Tim Craig, Vincent C. Gray
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