It’s only two weeks until the special election on April 23, in which voters – lots of them, we hope – will elect an at-large District councilmember to fill the seat vacated when Phil Mendelson became Chairman of the District Council.
There have been a number of candidate forums all over the city—and there will be more including tomorrow’s TENAC forum—and it’s not yet clear whether a favorite has emerged.
Four candidates showed up for the recent forum sponsored by the Georgetown Business Association at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place at Washington Harbour. Democrat Alicia Silverman, an economic analyst and former City Paper journalist, Anita Bond, a veteran government consul- tant and official did not appear. Again a Democrat, Michael Brown who had lost his bid for re-election to the at-large seat he had held in another recent (and low voter turnout) election, has dropped out.
The most familiar electoral face among the current crop of candidates is—in this most Democratic of cities—is Republican Patrick Mara, who serves on the State School Board, and previously ran twice for an at large seat, narrowly losing to Vincent Orange in his last bid. He is presenting himself as a can-do candidate, touted his ability to speak and connect with Republicans in Congress, including members of the House Committee that oversees the District, is a moderate on social issues, including gay marriage which he supports, and is keen to tackle ethical issues on the council. Mara has been endorsed by the Washington Post.
Two other candidates appear to be unabashedly liberal in their approach. Democrat attorney Paul Zukerberg supports marijuana decriminalization, saying that we “are put- ting more young people in prison than we are graduating from high school.” Perry Reed is the Green Party candidate and is a supporter of low-income and affordable housing.
Matthew Frumin is a community activist from Ward 3 has touted his leadership on education issues including the modernization of Wilson High School and on a variety of task forces and community organization.
The Georgetowner will issue an endorsement of one of these candidates in this special election next week.