City Desk

Carol Concedes!

Longtime Republican At-Large Councilmember Carol Schwartz moments ago gave a concession speech after a tightly contested primary battle with upstart Patrick Mara. With less than 20 percent of the precincts in, Mara held a commanding 62-38 percent advantage. According to Loose Lips columnist Mike DeBonis, that early tally doesn't include most Ward 3 precincts, where quite a few Republican voters reside–which raises some questions as to why Schwartz bagged out so early.

The 68-32 margin looks a lot more impressive as a percentage than do the raw numbers behind it. Mara has garnered 424 to Schwartz's 258. That's what happens when about three-quarters of your city's voters are Democratic.

The real story here is the insularity of the Republican primary. Schwartz is one of the city's most popular politicians, as evidence by her historically strong showings in general elections, where she has pulled down enormous chunks of the voting population. But this is a closed Republican primary, and her opponent essentially out-Republicanned her.

Buoyed by big dollars from pro-biz groups, Mara hammered Schwartz with campaign literature that described her as, well, a Democrat in Republican clothing. Much of Mara's support came from a D.C. business community peeved over Schwartz's championing a sick-leave bill that imposed new costs on D.C. firms.

In a brief interview with Loose Lips this evening, Schwartz said that she'd "never wage a write-in campaign" to leverage her popularity with the city's Democratic supermajority. Nor will she ever endorse Mara, on account of the "guttural nature of the campaign."

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  • Ward 2 says why not?

    She should go indy, like Catania, and do a write in. Mara is a tool- just look at where he gets his $$

  • Smoked

    The fat lady sung. It's over. Good riddance, Carol.

  • DeniseW

    Carol did not concede, early in the evening she did a reality check but made it clear it was not a concession. So far there are 3,040 some more votes cast in the republican primary than actually voted. She repeatedly kept saying she did not concede and at this point with the persistant screw ups across all parties in ward 1500 plus write ins for evans, statehood, culver and the swartz-mara primary as well as the extra 1500 votes it is a mess. Even so, Mara has a snoballs chance in hell in the general election where he will be up against a number of independents who were former dems. contrary to popular notion, it is not a republican seat.
    So even if Carol is gone, she has been gratious about it and Mara ain't gonna cut it in this city.

  • KCinDC

    DeniseW, the fact that Mara is up against a number of independents is precisely the problem. They could split the anti-Republican vote, and that, plus the fact that most people seem not to even know they get a second vote in the at-large race, could allow Mara to get a plurality and win.

  • Arthur Delaney

    OMG CAROL! :(

  • KCinDC

    Did Schwartz say anything about the possibility of endorsing, say, Michael Brown? Maybe not likely, but if she's angry enough to refuse to endorse the Republican, ....

  • Skipper

    Local DC GOP party folks have major egg on their face. They backed Carol to the hilt and barely acknowledged Mara. Now they put out a statement saying they're like so totally gonna rally behind Mara.

    DC GOP - FAIL.

  • Embarrassing Herself

    Carol you lost. You can't seem to understand that people want a change. While your past service is appreciated, you work for the voters. They just fired you. Tough as it may be for you to understand, you aren't entitled to the office of council person at large. It really is a shame that you can't move along gracefully. I guess that your larger than life ego gets in the way.

    Guttural you say? More like embarrassing. For you.

  • The Law Needs Changed

    Isn't it about time this wacky law that limits democracy by setting aside a council seat for a non-Democrat gets changed?

  • Reid

    "You can’t seem to understand that people want a change."

    I know, seriously! Can't she hear the booming voices of the 2,000 people who voted against her? That's nearly four tenths of one percent of the District population! Yay, for a completely ridiculous and unecessary primary system! Thank god we don't ditch them and hold all meaningful votes on days when people actually show up to the polls!