MaryEva Candon edges closer to D.C. Council bid
MaryEva Candon, who's been a local Democratic Party leader for more than three decades, said she will run as a "fiscal conservative" if she enters the race for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council.
Candon, who lives in Ward 2, said she has picked up petitions to enter the April 26 special election and is "seriously considering" running for the seat now held by interim member Sekou Biddle (D).
Candon, who served as executive director of the D.C. Democratic Party from 1978 to 1984 and as a Democratic National Committeewoman from 2001 to 2009, said the council needs another woman and a new member with extensive knowledge of all parts of the city.
"I have been involved in the Democratic Party and elections in this city since Home Rule and helped organize the wards," said Candon, 60. "I know everyone in the city and everyone recognizes me as a contributor who has much experience."
Candon, who is close to council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), said she would campaign as the one candidate who would "cut the budget where possible" and "hold the cost of government down."
"I am a fiscal conservative with a caring background for social services," she said. "I am not a Republican who just cuts."
Candon, a lawyer, works as local lobbyist and executive vice-president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. If Candon enters the race, some of her lobbying clients could emerge as an issue. She currently represents Altria, the parent company for Philip Morris USA, one of the world's largest cigarette manufactures.
Candon, however, said it won't be easy for an opponent to paint her as a menacing tobacco company lobbyist.
"Mainly what we do these days is minimize the sale of tobacco products to minors, and maintaining all laws around the selling of tobacco products" Candon said. "It's not a controversial issue anymore that I am aware of."
Candon, who lives in the Sheridan Kalomara neighborhood, is also a former advisory neighborhood commissioner.
But Candon said Dickson's entry won't affect her final decision on whether to run, arguing she would be the stronger candidate.
"I am a much more known quantity than Wayne Dickson," Candon said. "I admire Wayne and like Wayne, but I don't think he will be a factor in the campaign."
Candon appears especially confident of her abilities to raise the large sums of money that will likely be needed to wage an effective citywide campaign.
"I am a very good fundraiser," Candon said. "I have raised money all my life. It's just a matter of putting together the campaign committee. Money won't be issue."
What may be an issue, she said, is whether Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and most of the council members decide to rally behind the same candidate.
D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D) and five council members have already endorsed Biddle, but it remains unclear if Gray and other members will also get behind him.
"I am a political realist and pragmatist," Candon said. "I am not interested in fighting the city council and mayor."
| January 13, 2011; 12:24 PM ET
Categories: 2010 District Election, D.C. Council
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