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Kelvin Robinson wins Williams's nod in Ward 6 bid

Kelvin Robinson, running as a Democrat for the Ward 6 council seat, has gotten a key endorsement from his old boss, former mayor Anthony A. Williams.

Robinson, who served three years as Williams's chief of staff, has a tough fight on his hands against incumbent Tommy Wells, and the endorsement comes a week after polls opened for early voting.

Williams delivered the endorsement in a letter released by Robinson's campaign. "[Robinson] was an integral part of my team that laid the foundation for our City's remarkable renaissance, which we all now enjoy," Williams wrote, adding: "Kelvin has demonstrated that he is a leader genuinely committed to public service. A highly skilled manager, he is able to handle competing priorities and objectives, and bring together divergent perspectives to advance the common goals of our Ward and our City."

Williams also quoted approvingly from a Washington Post editorial last week saying that Robinson's "experience in the government and as a small-business owner would be a valuable addition to the council." The editorial, however, endorsed Wells for reelection.

After renting an apartment in Ward 2 for the entirety of his mayoralty, Williams moved to Ward 6 in 2008, buying a condominium in the Landmark Lofts at Senate Square. Williams's two-bedroom pad is located near Union Station, at the western end of the rapidly redeveloping H Street NE corridor.

A Robinson campaign staffer, Ian Goldstein, says the letter will be e-mailed to Robinson's supporters and other ward residents. There are no plans at the moment, he says, for Williams to make a campaign appearance on Robinson's behalf. Williams has been a reticent participant in city politics since leaving office; he endorsed Mayor Adrian M. Fenty for reelection in a July interview with The Post's Nikita Stewart but has not made a official campaign appearance with Fenty.

The full letter:

Dear Neighbors,

As former Mayor of the District of Columbia and a current Ward 6 resident, I am proud to offer this letter of support for Kelvin Robinson's candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the City Council seat representing our Ward.

During my administration, Kelvin served as my Chief of Staff from 2001 to 2004. He was an integral part of my team that laid the foundation for our City's remarkable renaissance, which we all now enjoy. Kelvin's professionalism, expertise and capabilities in local government have been put to the test in a variety of leadership roles that undoubtedly have prepared him to effectively serve as our next councilman.

Whether working with me to bring our City from a major fiscal deficit to a record surplus; or working with me on cross border initiatives with regional partners to address crime and our public transportation issues; or working with the White House and Congress to ensure record level funding for public schools and affordable housing; or in his present capacity as chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6A, Kelvin has demonstrated that he is a leader genuinely committed to public service. A highly skilled manager, he is able to handle competing priorities and objectives, and bring together divergent perspectives to advance the common goals of our Ward and our City.

As the husband of an elementary school teacher and father of two teenage sons (one of whom is a championship fencer), Kelvin is concerned about continuing school reform and rebuilding recreation centers to provide education and afterschool options for our children; reducing juvenile crime to make our neighborhoods safer; providing employment and skills training so that unemployed residents can work in wellpaying and sustainable jobs; and ensuring smart and responsible development to expand business opportunities and neighborhood amenities.

I agree with the Washington Post's assessment of Kelvin's "experience in the government and as a small-business owner would be a valuable addition to the council..." and as your Mayor from 1999 to 2007, I have no doubt that Kelvin can deliver the kind of leadership needed to move our Ward and our City forward.

I am voting for Kelvin Robinson who is number one (#1) on the ballot on September 14th, and I strongly encourage you to do the same, so that together we can continue our progress for a stronger and more prosperous City.

With kind regards,
Anthony A. Williams
Former Mayor, District of Columbia

By Mike DeBonis  |  September 6, 2010; 3:54 PM ET
Categories:  DCision 2010 , The District  
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