Loose Lips

Jack Evans: From D.C. to the World

When Jack Evans ran for mayor in 1998, he launched his campaign in a playground that doubled as the site of gangland executions. His promises back then were as modest as the location: shut down open-air drug markets, replace bad principals, make Washington a viable city again. Today, with D.C. regularly accused of being too successful, Evans' ambitions have become grander: Let's beat Paris!

"Quite frankly, my vision is what we need in order to establish the District of Columbia as one of the great cities of the world," Evans told supporters today at his mayoral campaign launch this morning at 14th and Q streets NW. For observers wondering what the point of an Evans candidacy is, besides Jack Evans taking his last shot at the top job, there it is: Evans promises to take Washington from "booming" to "the best." How? By bringing success for everyone, through measures like better coordination of job training programs between business and government.

First, though, he has to see if he can build a constituency outside of Ward 2. To that end, Evans' campaign headquarters at 14th and Florida is in Ward 1. His speech today in front of new French restaurant Le Diplomate had nods to African-American residents, seniors, and bike lane-loving new residents (LL counted three uses of city-as-rich-tapestry imagery, then stopped counting).

Evans will face at least two challengers—D.C. Council colleagues Muriel Bowser and Tommy Wells—and could also be going up against incumbent Mayor Vince Gray, but his staff isn't worried about money. "Jack's a good fundraiser," Evans campaign finance director Gary Ellis assures LL. No kidding—despite running unopposed for re-election last year, Evans made sure to bank hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions.

After the speech, Evans campaign manager Josh Brown enthused about Evans' role in taking 14th Street from prostitutes to bistros. "And now look at it!" Brown said, throwing his hands back to Italian gastropub Ghibellina.

Photo by Will Sommer

  • tntdc

    Evans was indeed unopposed but still spent almost $100 per vote and yet somehow managed to lose 40% of the vote (if you recall, the results until late had him losing to a withdrawn candidate!).

    In his last mayor's race he spent about the same per vote, had a fleet of empty buses circling on election day, and got a couple %.

    Evans candidacies are about raking in $ and spending it through friends. This time as a spoiler for Wells, he'll also get a lot of Gray money funneled to him.

  • noodlez


  • xman havoc

    he is kinda splitting the white vote for wells, maybe he wants wells to pay him off to drop out. itz all about da money wit Jack

  • xman havoc

    and this means Gray must be about to do down HARD, Jack be all about da money and rich folk, but he's nobody's fool

  • DC Guy

    If Grey runs, he wins running away. If he doesn't, then it looks like Mayor Muriel is the word.

  • drez

    I like Evans in the same way I like Gray.
    They both have done good work while on the DC Council.
    Not a fan of either of them in the Executive.

  • Really?

    What noodlez said.

  • sticktoyourguns

    Muriel will neva be mayor. Can she even spell mayor? Jack will be the next mayor

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  • Dykes in Zipcars

    I have to wonder how the closeted lesbian thing is going to play out. If you ask most people what they know about Wells outside of Ward 6 it is that he is an alcoholic. Why will Jack not win?

  • justsayin

    I won't vote for any of these candidates, including my useless Ward 4 representative, in great part because of their service (or lack thereof) on the Council. These fools don't give an email or phone call to their offices the time of day, and when campaign season rolls around they try to act inclusive, clenching their teeth while shaking hands and posing for photos with people to whom they couldn't care less about delivering service.

  • I Am Not A Liberal Democrat

    justsayin, I hear you and I agree. I don't see any of the mayoral candidates attractive for me to vote or support them.

    Ward 4 Voter

  • saywhat14

    If you don't like Muriel, that's fine, but she does deliver on constituent services. Say what you want about her, but don't lie on her.

  • justsayin

    I am not "lying" on Bowser, and neither are my MANY neighbors who get nothing in response from her office. So if you are getting served, great for you, but she was elected to represent the constituents of the entire ward and not a preferred segment.

  • Ward 3 Voter

    I just don't think Jack Evan's message worked at this time. Yes, Jack has done some great work for the city and he had a good campaign manager in Josh Brown who did great work for Anita Bonds, but Jack just could not inspire anyone.