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Orange says he's not interested in filling at-large vacancy


Last night, council chairman hopeful Vincent Orange hosted a cookout at his house for members of the Ward 5 Democrats. That got tongues wagging: Is Orange already looking past his primary battle with Kwame Brown?

That's because if Brown wins, he would vacate his at-large seat on the council, and the members of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, of which the Ward 5 Dems leadership is a part, would choose to fill the seat until a special election is held. Orange is quite active in the DCDSC and could expect to have a leg up on the internecine balloting.

Orange said last night that the barbecue was merely a thank-you to the folks who staffed Monday's straw poll, which Orange narrowly won. And he roundly denied any interest in the at-large seat.

"First of all, I'm going to win. And second, I don't want to go back to the council," said Orange, who served as Ward 5 council member from 1999 through 2006.

"If I wanted to stay on the council, I never would have left," he added. "I've got a different skill set now."

Other names tossed around for the seat, should it open, include current at-large candidate Clark Ray, ex-at-large candidate Adam Clampitt and current Ward 5 council member Harry Thomas Jr.

Photo by Juana Arias for The Washington Post

By Mike DeBonis  |  August 27, 2010; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  DCision 2010 , The District , Vincent Orange  
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Next: Vincent Gray opens commanding lead on Fenty, Washington Post poll finds


This sounds like the death knell for this campaign. A Thanks-For-Your-Help-but-We-Lost BBQ.

Posted by: leon256 | August 27, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Leon256 -- You should have gone and got a hot dog or hamburger. It was far from a "We-Lost BBQ".

What would make you think that Vincent Orange would lose to a scofflaw like Kwame Brown? I would hope that the DC electorate is smarter than that. They know not to give the keys to the city to someone that can't keep their financial house in order.

Posted by: Yikes3 | August 27, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

With Vincent Orange being far & away the majority fundraiser for his own campaign, possibly paying himself back with others donations and Kwame Brown raising $257K vs. Vincent Orange's $58K, Brown shows the ability to fundraise and manage money. Vincent Orange is renting moonbounces and still can't get a 60% endorsement in his own backyard! Brown's personal finances are just that: personal. Who owns a house and doesn't have a mortgage?

KB for advanced job training facilities, domestic violence shelters and drug free zones.

Posted by: WTC_H | August 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Okay isn't becoming Chair of the Council going back to the Council? He makes it sounds as if serving on the Council is beneath him. Let's see if he runs for At-Large. Then Debonis you can ask him if he had to humble himself to run for At-Large because he will definitely need a job. I don't see how this guy wins.

Posted by: 1tenforall | August 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

1tenforall, I didn't get that one either. Last time I checked, he was running for Chairman of the COUNCIL of the District of Columbia.

Posted by: ssmd11 | August 27, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I am starting think Vincent Orange doesn't know what he is running for. He is the only one who calls the position DC Chairman instead of Council Chair and now he says he doesn't want to go to the Council. Does he think DC Chairman is some non-Council, all powerful position? Strange. I won't vote for either Brown or Orange, thanks.

Posted by: bzahradnik | August 27, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Don't be stupid -- You can tell it was a misquote by Debonis.

People that can't see the truth in Kwame make me laugh. I wonder when the next shoe is going to drop...

Posted by: calimanindc | August 27, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Vincent Orange actually thinks he is running for "DC Chairman" which is a non-existant position. It's funny how he constantly blabs about his academic credentials but seems completely confused how the Council works. If he wins, will he call himself the Orange Chairman?

Posted by: TiredOfPropoganda | August 27, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Good insight.

Posted by: drfields | August 27, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Orange was referring to the difference in pay. With the executive position he's recently held, he believes he should earn more than Phil Mendelsohn does.

Whatever his intelligence and professional skills, Orange has done himself no favors by being most memorable over the years for hosting barbecue; and capitalizing on a name famous for being pointed to in a comic strip title as a challenge to rhyme.

Posted by: incredulous | August 29, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

We do not need another young immature politician in the chairman or mayor position. The shakedowns by councilmember brown of developers and subcontractors is similar to the schemes by mayor fenty with his frat brothers. I am sure that the internal revenue service is the next headache coming the councilmember's way.
The city's budget in the billions deserve someone who has been tried and tested over the years and who has the education and maturity to lead 12 other members of the dc city council. The councilmember needs to clean up his house first before seeking a promotion.

Posted by: dcgovcorruption | August 29, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

@dcgovcorruption you're actually saying this former Pepco lobbyist Vincent Orange isn't a crony and pay-to-play?

Orange took a NO position on the slots referendum back in 2004 – fair enough, but the slots backers were some of his biggest financial supporters of his exploratory committee in 2005 when he ran for Mayor.

There's more, of course, but let's go one blighted issue at a time.

Posted by: leon256 | August 29, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

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