Gray’s Afghan Pen-Pal Returns the Love
When Adam Clampitt, a public affairs officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, was shipping out for Afghanistan in January 2009, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray helped organize a send-off party. When Clampitt, who scuttled a D.C. Council bid two years ago, returned to the District earlier this year, Gray helped organize a welcome home bash amid a winter snowstorm.
Clampitt, with the help of his mother Susan Clampitt, is now returning the favor and is co-hosting a Ward 6 fundraiser to benefit Gray's mayoral campaign against Adrian Fenty.
Former Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown, Maryland Del. Aisha Braveboy and Ward 6 School Board member Lisa Raymond are among the listed names of attendees on the invitation for the Aug. 16 gathering at Susan Clampitt's Capitol Hill home.
Adam Clampitt was a supporter of Fenty during and after the mayor's 2006 campaign. His mother was appointed by the mayor to post on the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Depending on your point of view, Clampitt's shift to the Gray camp is a sign of how much Fenty has declined in the eyes of some of his former supporters—or an example of an ambitious political hopeful blowing with the prevailing political winds.
In an interview, Adam Clampitt says that he and his mother expect 80 to 100 to attend the Gray fundraiser. The public relations executive notes that during his deployment, the chairman kept in close contact: "Vince e-mailed me in Afghanistan more than anyone than my family. He’s always selfless and a giving person...For a busy guy to do that is a big deal."
Clampitt, a Southwest resident, acknowledges that he may consider another run for the D.C. Council at some point in the future. In the meantime, he's been supporting Gray's campaign efforts and speaking about veterans issues and his experiences in Afghanistan at community gatherings around town.