City Desk

Jeff Smith Officially Exploring Ward 1 Bid

The list of potential challengers of Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham expands.

Jeff Smith, the education activist and ex-school-board member, is joining the fray.

Smith, like Adams Morgan activist Bryan Weaver, is officially "exploring" a challenge to the bowtied, recently embattled incumbent. But Smith's stepped it up a bit—he's got a super-slick Web site, complete with super-slick logo and super-slick slogan ("Speak up, Ward 1!").

Smith says that he'll be launching his exploratory bid with a fundraiser next Wednesday. Despite the big-time accouterments, Smith says he really is exploring.

"People are fed up with politicians coming to them saying, 'I have all the answers,'" he says. "To the extent that I become that candidate, I'd like to have a better idea of what people are looking for in terms of leadership for Ward 1."

UPDATE, 4:40 P.M.: A comment from Graham campaign spokesperson Chuck Thies: "Exploring and campaigning are two different things. Campaigning takes hard work and commitment. Jeff won a 4 year seat on the School Board and quit less than halfway through his term. For the sake of those who might be interested in his candidacy, I hope he has the fortitude to honor their support."

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  • Rick Mangus

    RUN JEFF, RUN! OR RUN BRYAN, RUN! Someone please run and rid this city of this annoying MEDIA WHORE!

  • Ward 4 Resident/Voter

    It's tme for Miss Graham to go. I hope the residents in Ward 1 can find one good strong canidate to run against Miss Graham and don't split the vote with many canidates running. I am afraid this will happen in the mayoral race with King Fenty.

  • Ward 4 Resident/Voter

    Correction: I misspelled the word candidate. lol

  • Ward 1 Resident/Voter

    Don't forget that Graham voted, along with Hizzoner, to abolish the Board of Education; we voted for a voice in education not another puppet board - as it is now. We need a leader that is passionate and energetic and has integrity. Graham your time has come and gone. RUN JEFF RUN!!!!!!

  • Fred

    Though I'm not on board with the name calling, I am for increased competition in the ward. There has to be more than one voice. It's a bit tacky what Graham's office said about Smith, or rather that they said it. But at the same time, it's true.

  • Tom

    Fred, the position that Jeff ran for (along with the other members of the board) were abolished by Fenty and the council. We elected a body and Fenty and the council stripped them of their power. Now it's just a puppet board.




    Jeff Smith left the school board when he didn't want to take the money of a part-time salary without really being able to do ANY WORK! Thanks Jeff!
    When the take over happened the school board had no voice AND STILL DOESN'T! Do you or the adminstration pay any attention to the board???? Do you even know who is on the board??

    Jeff Smith took a stand! DAMN we need someone in DC to do this more often! What has Graham done?????

  • Josh

    Incredible pettiness from the Graham campaign in response.

  • Woodley Parker

    Chuck Theis sounds like a real hack.

  • DCBob

    Chuck Theis is a real hack. It is a shame that Graham hired him. Theis' comment shows his lack of professionalism and the harm that he brings to any campaign.

  • downtown rez

    If he was unsavvy enough to run for a position that pretty much everyone knew would be diminished in the (wildly popular) school take-over, well, would you rather Graham's office point that out instead?

  • Fred

    Tom, the second I hit "Submit," I thought, but wait a second, what if...I probably should not have commented either way since I don't know enuf about the situation.

    Main point: increased competition in the Ward equals Good Thing.

  • Christie

    I'm glad to see that there is finally someone willing to stand up against Graham. For so many years folks have been scared because of Graham's power over the residents and control over the developers. More power to Smith!

    From what I remember he left the Board when Fenty effectively abolished it - if it had anything to do with money he probably wouldn't have run for it at all, right? And when he took the position on the board the board actually played a role in education - unlike now!

  • Let me see…

    We don't need another pretty boy on the council. Did Smith not attend Eastern and when it was in its worst chaos while he was on the school board. All he could do was offer his flashbacks of his days of old. Now he runs this so-called organizations that does what...really go around and ask questions of school personnel. Yes, he quit but can anyone tout what he did while he was on the board...Smith is like the black Seinfeld of a tv-sitcom...he is character who portrays a character who does absolutely nothing. That is what really need is for Smith to sit up there on the council with Brown, Brown, Gray, Thomas, Barry,,,,what are they doing a sequel to the 5-heartbeats. I have yet to meet a Jeff...that wasn't a pain in the posterior.

  • dupont dog walker

    ok let me see, nuf of the racist comments (brown + gray + thomas + barry = five heartbeats? = wow) i hope LL will give this weaver guy and smith the same opportunities to comment on everything graham says and does. actually, no, i hope you just stick to your own editorial which is usually pretty funny - not the third party, free slander opportunities. and since when does the biggest news story chaser in the city need a spokesperson. maybe since taxi-gate.

  • Jon Bon Jovi

    This guy should run against Graham. Graham needs to end up in a jail cell with Ted Loza.

    I am tired; I just finished performing on "Saturday Night Live".

    Jon Bon Jovi

  • Ward 4 Resident/Voter

    LOL@Jon Bon Jovi. I saw you last night on Saturday Night Live Jon Bon Jovi. You look good to be in your forties. I have a few of your CD's. LOL

  • Mark Sense

    I hold Graham liable for the lethal Metro disasters, as well as the merely maddening problems of the local traffic and transit systems. He has squandered his position as chairman of the council committee Public Works and Transportation, and abused his tenure as WMATA board chairman for years. By his own admission, he has no staff in his office with a brief for transit. My pet peeve: his re-branding the Woodley Park station "Adams-Morgan". The train don't go there, Jim.

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