Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Socialists field candidate for mayor, but some back Gray

Tim Craig

The D.C Republican Party may not be fielding a candidate for mayor in the November general election, but that doesn't mean the winner of the September Democratic primary won't face competition.

Representatives of the Socialist Workers Party said this week that they have filed more than enough signatures to get Omari Musa on the ballot as the socialist candidate.

Musa is a longtime labor and social justice activist, but it's unclear how close his ties are to the District.

Musa appears too have recently been a political candidate for several offices in Florida, including a 2006 write-in campaign for governor of that state.

A 2006 story by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune said Musa, then chair of the Florida Socialists Workers Party, was a Miami garment worker who campaigned on a platform that included "withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, the defense of affirmative action quotas and abortion rights and 'the unionization of working people.' "

On Aug. 2, The Militant Web site published an article about Musa's current bid for mayor, noting he campaigned last month on a picket line at Washington Hospital Center.

"Lack of medical care is a growing crisis for workers in the District, as in every other part of the country," Musa said. "Under the capitalist system, 'health care' is a profit-making business. Every year hospital owners and pharmaceutical companies make millions, while more and more working people can't afford to visit a doctor or get medicine."

But to say that Musa faces a steep climb to prevail in the November election would be an understatement.

Complicating matters, the socialist vote will be divided if D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray prevails over incumbent Adrian M. Fenty in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.

On Aug. 3, the rival Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America endorsed Gray, praising his "openness to labor and an attitude of inclusiveness towards the citizens of the District."

"This election is a fight to determine the direction of the District of Columbia," the METRO D.C. Democratic Socialists of America said in a statement. "Will this be a city for working people or only for the wealthy and well connected? DSA is for working people, and that is why we're supporting Vincent Gray."

Regardless of the split within the socialist movement, what does it say about the D.C. Republican Party when the socialist movement appears to be larger players in the mayor's race then the GOP? Republican leaders say they decided not to field a candidate this year because many local Republicans are satisfied with Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

By Tim Craig  |  August 20, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Tim Craig  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: FOP endorses Brown for council chair
Next: Gray gets nods from Caribbean PAC, Muslim Democrats

Comments

This is interesting. Haven't heard anything about the real Left in America in a long time and it is quite interesting that they are showing up in this mayoal race, reported by the WaPo no less. But the thing I really like the most in this report is how satisfied the Republicans are with the Fenty/Rhee team--that really says a lot, doesn't it?

Posted by: 1citizen | August 21, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company