Loose Lips

At Debate, Mayoral Candidates Want to Face Vince Gray, Face Christian Carter Instead

Thursday's mayoral debate at Georgetown's Dumbarton House was as much about who didn't show up as who did. While the six of the seven major candidates were there, incumbent Vince Gray was missing, opting instead for a public-safety walkthrough in Ward 4's Shepherd Park.

Gray's absence, immediately following his congenial interview with WUSA9's  Bruce Johnson, left the other candidates incensed. Walking up to Dumbarton, Wells explained that his strategy amounted to just showing up. "That's not everyone's plan," he said.

Ditto Muriel Bowser. "We thought, actually, that everybody running for mayor would be here tonight," Bowser told the audience at the Northwest Current-sponsored debate.

Instead of getting a shot at Gray, the candidates got a visit from longshot mayoral hopeful Christian Carter. Carter, whose campaign managed to reach the 2,000-minimum-signature requirement last week despite internal problems, made his way through the audience 15 minutes into the debate. After a fierce but inaudible exchange with debate moderator and Current publisher Davis Kennedy, Carter grabbed a chair from the audience and sat next to Bowser.

"I forgot to say that the candidates who were invited to participate were all those who have been elected at least to the city council," Kennedy said after Carter barged in. "We invited two other candidates to participate who we thought were reasonable longshots."

Kennedy meant Busboys & Poets owner Andy Shallal and former State Department official Reta Lewis, both of whom didn't look thrilled to be called longshots.

A woman in the audience yelled she would never support Dumbarton House again. Kennedy relented and started treating Carter like an invited candidate.

The East Georgetown types in the audience seemed amused but baffled by Carter, who insisted that he wanted more "white people" in D.C. public schools because they would mean more government investment. Carter then explained his language education plan, called "Geared for Global," which he claimed, to Evans' visible horror, would make it so "our yellow citizens are not in a position where they're being forced out."

The most heat for candidates who aren't Christian Carter came when Kennedy asked the candidate what he billed as "ultra-tough questions." Orange, asked about his intervention in his short-lived attempt to stop health inspectors from shutting down a food wholesaler, defended the actions that earned him an admonishment from the ethics board.

"I would, in fact, do it again," Orange said. That would conflict with Orange's settlement with the ethics board, which forbids him from doing it again.

After the debate, Orange told LL that his owned admitted lapses paled in comparisons with his colleagues' ethics, which "makes me look like a small infant." Orange declined to say who he was talking about.

Photo courtesy Christian Carter

  • Pingback: Don’t call it an apology tour

  • DC Guy

    Orange got part of the quote right, he is a small infant.

  • DC John

    On April 1, Primary Day, let there be a city-wide flash mob singing/dancing "Send/Vote In the Clowns!"

  • http://www.dumbartonhouse.org Karen L. Daly

    Dumbarton House was proud to serve as the venue for last night’s DC Mayoral Forum in historic Georgetown. We are thrilled to see so many of our neighbors engaged in the democratic process. We do apologize to any of you who were not able to attend due to our limited capacity and overflow crowd, and were disappointed to learn that some candidates did not receive advance notice of the forum.

    Please do visit us again for any of our upcoming museum programs—http://dumbartonhouse.org/events —or for a tour of our historic home, open Tuesday-Sunday, year-round.

  • noodlez

    SO ALL THE "HOPING I BE MAYOR" BAMMAS RAN TO WARD 2 WITH THEIR PLAN OF BADGERING AND INTERROGATING MAYOR GRAY ABOUT AN INCIDENT HE ALREADY APOLOGIZED FOR THAT DIDN'T HAVE A BEARING ON THE OUTCOME OF A RACE PREDETERMINED MONTHS BEFORE IT EVER HAPPENED. IT IS A SAD STATE FOR THIS CITY WHEN FOLK WHO CALL THEMSELVES LEADERS DISPLAY COGNITIVE DISSONANCE TO SUCH A DEGREE.

    I PRAY THEIR PLAN FOR THIS CITY (IF BY SOME MIRACLE ONE OF THOSE SORRY ASSES WIN) DOESN'T HANG ON A HOPE AND A PRAYER OF SOMETHING OR SOMEONE ELSE HAPPENING WHEN THE SMARTER PLAY IS MADE BY ONE'S SELF.

    ONE CITY!

  • Marvin E. Adams

    @Karen L. Daly: Thank you and your association for hosting last night's debate. Here's a suggestion for future reference, and this could be true for all associations/organizations intending on hosting mayoral debates as well. DO NOT EXCLUDE ANY CANDIDATES, PERIOD!Democracy and good governance is ALL about inclusion, as opposed to exclusion. Also, light snacks would have gone over extremely well. I'm quite sure you guys could have afforded it:)

    As for the debate itself, it was full of the same-old, same-old, with an unexpected twist, Mr. Carter, crashing the party. And, I might add, bully for him. Being that I was in attendance, I would like to offer my objective assessment of who I thought best presented themsleves. If I had to cast my ballot today, strictly on last night's perfomance(which,thankfully, I do not) it would be difficult to choose between Messers. Evans, Orange and Shallal (note they are listed alphabetically).

    As far as the mayor not being there, folks, P-L-E-A-S-E, get over yourselves. Wasn't it Ms. Bowser, herself, who conveniently extricated herself from the most recent debate on education or the one held at Union Temple. Talk about hypocrisy. Or did she think that we would not remember. How many debates are scheduled anyway? - 99, maybe, or more. Enough for all citizens to attend, and decide, who, in their estimation deserves the right to earn their vote.

  • Pingback: blue ofica

...