City Desk

Michael Brown All But Declares Mayoral Candidacy

"I'm pretty certain, if the mayor wins the primary, I would probably run against him," said At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown this afternoon on Bruce DePuyt's NewsTalk program on NewsChannel 8.

He later added: "I'm not there yet. I'm trying to be the best councilmember I can be."

It would be a quixotic run at best. No non-Democrat has won a citywide office regularly scheduled citywide race, except for those at-large councilmembers who, like Brown, have taken advantage of protected non-Democrat set-asides. Assuming Fenty draws a legitimate Democratic challenger and proceeds to beat him or her, it's unclear how the addition of non-Democratic votes could put Brown over the top.

But, hey—a race is a race. Brown expounded on a potential platform a bit—"we need to talk about a different kind of transparency in government"—adding that, as mayor, he would keep Michelle Rhee as schools chancellor, "but change her governing style."

Dunno how Rhee would feel about that.

File photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • cminus

    No non-Democrat has won citywide office, except for those at-large councilmembers who, like Brown, have taken advantage of protected non-Democrat set-asides.

    Incorrect; it's been done once. David Catania first joined the Council as a Republican when he won a special election to fill the At-Large seat vacated by Linda Cropp when she moved up to become Council Chair. Since Cropp was a Democrat, the Democrats could field a candidate and put forth Arrington Dixon, who now holds the distinction of being the only Democrat in the Home Rule age to lose a city-wide race to a non-Democrat. After Catania's victory, the Council had three non-Democrats (Republicans Catania and Carol Schwartz and Statehood-Green Hilda Howland Mason) until the next election, when Phil Mendelson took Mason's no-longer-protected seat.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Mike DeBonis

    You are absolutely right. Fudged above.

  • WardQueen

    Ah, this could provide just the "wiggle room" Sam Brooks has been waiting for. Now if Peter Rosenstein can only get Sam to climb on board, Sam could nail that thing!

  • Skipper

    Michael Brown - What a pussy!

    He's only going to run against Fenty if Fenty wins the primary? Which apparently means Brown will run as an independent in the general election, rather than challenging Fenty in the Democratic Party primary.

    Why?

    Because this means Brown can keep his Council seat while he runs for Mayor.

    Here's a challenge to Michael Brown: Will you resign your Council seat if you decide to run for Mayor?

    If the answer is no, then you're nothing more than a shameless hack looking to run for higher office without accomplishing anything as a two-year Councilmember.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ Skipper: Sorta like Gray when he ran against Kathy Patterson for council chair. She gave up a safe ward 3 seat while he risked nothing because ward 7 wasn't up for reelection. This time, he'll lose his seat if he runs against Fenty and loses. In case you were wondering why he hasn't announced yet, if at all.

  • Odd Statement

    Michael Brown needs to decide if he's running for Mayor before the primary. Election law requires independents to turn their filing documents in before the primary election.

  • downtown rez

    Lol. His big toe will find the waters colder and deeper than he imagines.

  • http://deleted candycane1

    I'd keep her too just to make sure she left publically and nationally disgraced. Her next time cover owuld be her in a witch outfit and the headline would read: Rhee's "eye of newt" had salmonella. Spell broken or New Salem in DC.

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    Cminus is correct, but another point about that 1997 race is that the lack of a primary for the special election meant there could be two Democrats in the race. Combined, Democrats Arrington Dixon (38%) and Philip Heinrich (17%) received more votes than Republican David Catania (43%).

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    And yes, Michael Brown does seem to be delusional on this subject. Someone apparently neglected to tell him that a minority-party at-large seat is not a viable platform from which to run for mayor.

  • Keith

    Ouch! Skipper came with the venom in that above statement. I cant say that I disagree with his assessment. This isnt a game, the state of our fair District lies in the balance. If you feeling froggy, go on 'head and jump! Dont half ass it.

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    TH, there was nothing unusual about Gray staying in his Ward 7 seat while running for chair. That's absolutely standard when the terms overlap, and Fenty did the same, keeping his Ward 4 seat while running for mayor. It would have been extraordinary if he had given up his seat. How many politicians in DC have ever done that in that situation?

    You are of course right about the greater risk Gray would have to take this time if he were to run for mayor because the chair and mayoral terms coincide, but I don't think that says much about Gray himself either way.

  • Reid

    I'd be interested to see the history of why the Council Chair and the mayor spots come open at the same time. It could be for a non-nefarious reason (and it likely was set in place before Home Rule even started up), but I wouldn't put it past some of our early mayors that they arranged it that way so that their biggest possible contenders were faced with the exact dilemma that Gray faces right now.

  • noodlez

    @Truth Hurts SOMETIMES I WONDER IF YOU ARE FAGGIE FENTY IN DRAG.

    I DONT KNOW WHICH IS WORSE WASH CITY PAPER'S OBSESSION WITH BARRY OR YOUR IGNORANT POSTS ABOUT GRAY.

    BITCH BOY NOT ONLY HELD ON TO HIS SEAT, HE PUT HIS PUPPET BOWSER IN PLACE. THEY WAS SO BRAZEN WITH IT DURING SPECIAL ELECTION THEY USED THE SAME COLOR SCHEME AND BASICALLY PUT HER NAME WHERE HIS NAME WAS ON ALL CAMPAIGN MATERIALS.

    IT COULD HAVE BEEN AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED THE PARALLEL PUSSY CAMPAIGN FOR WHAT IT WAS WORTH.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    AS FOR BROWN I APPLAUDE HIS EFFORT AND POLITICAL PROWESS.
    THIS IS HIS GOAL AND HE IS STICKING TO IT. YOU CANT FAULT A BROTHER FOR THAT.

    HOPEFULLY THIS WASHINGTONIAN(IF HE WINS) WOULD DO BETTER BY THE CITY AS A MAYOR THAN THE CURRENT PIECE OF SHIT AS MAYOR!

  • Korrupt

    Keep Michelle Rhee? Well, he just lost my vote.

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    Reid, it's been that way since home rule started, so you can't blame our mayors for it.

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    I imagine some of those involved in writing the charter thought it would be a good thing to make the chairman's position less of a launching point for a mayoral campaign. Not that I necessarily agree, but I can see the argument.

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    Note that the recent bill calling for an elected AG made the AG's term coincide with those of the mayor and chair, so that position also would not be a safe place to run for mayor (or chair) from. But maybe that makes sense given the concerns about politicizing the position.

  • DC Voter

    So you think we will have Michael Brown in the race for Mayor? I don't think so. If he runs, Brown knows that the DC reporters and maybe the Feds will actually investigate his past business and banking deals out West. The smell of corruption already surrounds him and his complete failure in the 2006 Mayoral race is well remembered.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ KCinDC: I didn't say there was anything "wrong" with Gray running for council chair last time. I was responding to the comment about Michael Brown risking nothing by running because he'd retain his seat. And also pointing out Gray did essentially the same thing last time. I do think it was bad for DC, though, that Kathy Patterson lost her seat when Gray won.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ noodlez: And I wonder why CP lets a racist, hater fake ghetto asshole like you continue to post ignorant personal attacks. GO SUCK YOUR LIMP DICK, YOU FUCKING PUNK.

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