Don Peebles: Not a mayoral candidate 'at this point right now'
R. Donahue Peebles's long dance with a mayoral run is nearing an end.
The D.C.-born developer, based in Florida for more than a decade now, appeared on Jonetta Rose Barras's WPFW-FM show Thursday morning, promising to answer whether or not he'd challenge Mayor Adrian Fenty -- a decision he's been openly pondering since last fall.
Not surprisingly, no hard answer came from Peebles, who has pledged to inject as much as $5 million of his own money into the race and has relished the attendant public attention. But it's clear the public's patience is nearing an end.
Barras started by asking Peebles the big question: Will you or won't you?
"I continue to get an outpouring of support asking me to run for mayor," he started, before launching into an extended monologue on the problems of Washington today -- ranging from jobs to fiscal management.
Barras finally pressed him to answer the darn question. Even that didn't get a clear yes or no.
When he had agreed to come on the show, Peebles explained, he intended to announce he'd run for the mayoralty as an independent -- that is, in the general election, after Fenty and Vincent Gray had duked it out. But Peebles said that earlier this week he'd learned that his mother-in-law's cancer had significantly worsened.
So, he said, "at this point right now, I cannot be a candidate for mayor."
Barras then asked if the "door is closed" to a mayoral run. Said Peebles, "You never say never."
Which means the door is closed all but a crack, just enough to allow Peebles continue his public straddle and continue to be mentioned in newspaper stories as a possible candidate and interviewed on radio shows as a political player -- perhaps his real goal here.
Peebles declined to address whether he'd endorse another candidate.
"What this city needs is someone with vision," he said. "I'm not seeing a vision for the future of Washington, D.C." He added that if he'd run as an independent, he would have "campaigned against Vincent Gray."
"I have not thought of any candidate other than me," he added.
Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post
June 17, 2010; 11:21 AM ET
Categories: DCision 2010 , Don Peebles , The District
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