Loose Lips

Ex-Councilmember Carol Schwartz Announces Mayoral Bid

Move over, David Catania, there's another Republican-turned-independent gunning for the mayoral suite. Ex-Councilmember Carol Schwartz tells LL that she'll also be running as an independent mayoral candidate in November.

“People would call, say, 'Carol, we need you,'" Schwartz says. "'Come back, run for mayor.'"

In a lengthy statement, available at the bottom of this post, Schwartz says she's entering the race after being "concerned" about the District following corruption scandals. Schwartz was ousted from the D.C. Council at-large seat that she won in 1997 after losing the Republican primary in 2008. Schwartz's loss to rival Pat Mara came after she alienated her backers in the business community with sick-leave legislation.

Schwartz is no stranger to running for mayor, having done it four times in the past. In one bid, she scored 42 percent of the vote in 1994 against a resurgent Marion Barry.

“My desire to be mayor, that’s not new news," Schwartz says.

Formerly sharing a party affiliation didn't ensure tranquil relations between Catania and Schwartz when they were both in the Wilson Building. Catania endorsed Mara in his bid to take Schwartz's seat, while Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser endorsed Schwartz.

Is Schwartz just running to ruin her old enemy's mayoral hopes? Catania campaign manager Ben Young certainly thinks so, telling LL that it's "100 percent clear" that Schwartz is running at Bowser's request in a scheme he likens to 2010 Vince Gray campaign stalking horse and longshot mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown.

“They’re trying to reduce the mayoral election to a joke by bringing out Sulaimon Schwartz," Young says.

Schwartz declined to comment on Young's theory that Bowser put her up to running. Bowser's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • joan

    Carol who?

  • TTYL

    Sh*t just got real. This really isn't great news for either Bowser or Catania. She'll take the "old guard" and women votes from Bowser and certainly, independent votes from Catania. Should be interesting. She has repsect in the AA community as well. She is still a legend in DC.

  • Lane

    I wish she'd announced this candidacy before Catania started campaigning hard on April 2. She will be a formidable candidate but she has a lot of ground to make up.

  • Alum

    Yeah . . . finally, we're getting life in this race!

  • michael

    Malcolm X is not in Anacostia. It's in Congress Heights.

  • Catania

    This motivated me to donate to the Catania campaign today.

  • Publius

    What people don't know is that Schwartz was taken out by a Chuck Thies scheme using Mara as a pawn. Ultimate beneficiary was Gross which one again begs the question. Who has been paying Chuck Thies bills all these years?

  • WARD4NDC

    This election is becoming a circus. I've voted for Carol in the past for mayor.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Not good news for Bowser. Particularly considering she is such a poor candidate. Schwartz has a good working relationship with the African American Community. Those who didn't come out in the primary, who couldn't fathom voting for Catania, now have reason to turn out to vote for Schwartz in the general. Catania has won citywide 17 times even while Schwartz was on the Council. He has a following and he has gained some along the way this round.

  • Northwesterneer

    In the end, the new residents who moved in within the last 5 years will not know who she is- at all. She polled well as an anti-Barry candidate, but that era is all but gone. I miss David Schwartz though, I talked to him many times.

  • Brett

    @Northwesterner. Agree with you about the new residents, but would they vote anyway (given the primary turnout)?
    Being out of the spotlight all of these years also gives her some room to reinvent herself, and frees her from having to defend votes on hot-button issues (electing the Attorney General, Large Retailer Accountability Act, budget votes). Should be interesting to watch...

  • REALDC

    LMAO!

    Yeah, and "may the Schwartz be with you"- Mel Brooks, Spaceballs

    Who cares, this city is not going back to the '90s or '80s with this throwback candidate!

    This is like listening to Mr. C in the time tunnel on WHUR on Saturday mornings, while music from that time period is cool, we are not voting for a candidate from that period....unless she lands the Mothership at the Wilson and all the Funkateers come out and endorse the "Schwartz"......Hahahahaha

    DC is moving forward...... not back to '94 and her 42% vote.... half of those folks are no longer in the city.......

    May the Schwartz be with you!!...hahaha...No way!

  • drez

    Actually, Mara took out Schwartz in the primary and Michael Brown took out Mara in the general.
    Just FYI for all you Catania fans out there keeping score of your candidates success/fail rate.

  • justsayin

    What ShadyBoots said!

    I've never voted for Bowser to represent Ward 4 and I damn sure won't vote for her to represent the entire city. My options would've been to either hold my nose and vote for Catania or write in a candidate. I've voted for Carol in the past and would do so again.

  • SayWhat

    Cantania was the one who ran Patrick Mara against Carol Schwartz. Karma is a bitc...

  • justsayin

    What ShadyBoots said!

    I have never voted for Bowser to represent Ward 4 and damn sure won't vote for her to represent the entire city. My options for November were to either hold my nose and vote for Catania, or write in a candidate. However, I have voted for Carol in the past and would do so again.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    I knew it was a matter of who, not W-H-E-N! Let's get ready to rumble...

  • crestfallen

    During the worst period of the DC Government's performance under Barry, Schwartz said, "It was not her job to run the city. Her job was to legislate." Many people may not recall that statement but it is on the public record. She said this in May of that year and then out skipped to Rehoboth Beach for the next three months. If people want to point out the correctness of her statement with respect to governance, fine. but in any other American jurisdiction, this sort of posture would be considered to be misfeasance or malfeasance and this person undeserving of holding future public office.

  • big daddy

    Oh Carol you tired poor dear -- wasn't 4 times enough embarassment -- you want to count your losses on one hand and use all fingers. Well, I got a finger for ya :)

  • mike

    I hope Carol recycles her 2008 campaign theme - loved those signs reading "I'm an oldie but a goodie" -

  • lost cause

    Carol stop this mess now....why play this game you and bowser dreamed up....you are needed to get the campaign monies that bowser can no longer get because she is tapped out.
    So Carol is the NEW Jeffrey Thompson, she will funnel campaign monies to Bowsers camp to spend so this is the "White Shadow Campaign"
    Bowser you agreeing to this shows all the more reason you are not ready to be mayor and should show the people of DC that if Bowser were to win it would be a ton of people running the city not her and she can be told what to do.

    Any smart person knows Carol pulls more votes from Bowser than David.

  • lost cause

    I hope the office of Campaign Finance is ready to do their job

  • Really?

    Interesting, very very interesting. This changes the game a bit. I've talk to a lot folks who are often considered (supervoters) and many weren't going to go to vote. But, this may change things. While, the city has changed a bit since Carol was in office, the reality is that many new residents aren't registered to vote in D.C.

  • CheckforCarol

    Oh I have always loved this woman's handling of the City's issues. She's somebody who knows what she's doing.

    Go Carol Go!!!

    At first I wasn't going to vote at all since neither Muriel nor Catania are worthy. Yes, I was going to stay at home.

    Now I can vote and will be checking for Carol!!!

    Much respect Carol for doing this...show these incompetent youngins what's really goin on.

    Campaign Carol Schwartz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eeny menny miney moe

    Again, it is not who you tell the AA community to vote for, it is when you tell the AA community that they can't vote for a certain candidate. So, when you start putting out there that a black woman is not worthy and the other choices are white,then might as well start saying Mayor Bowser. The new comers to this city are here in numbers but there voter registrations are not showing increases. Familiarity brings comfort and those who look like us will get the votes from us.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    @Eeny menny miney moe: "...Familiarity brings comfort and those who look like us will get our votes." You are kidding, R-I-G-H-T? This IS 2-0-1-4! Using your logic, the Mia Loves, Allen Wests, Herman "999" Cains, et al automatically get the AA vote, simply due to the hue of their skin. C'mon man...

  • FM

    I will vote for Carol this is great news.
    As a mid age black man I have no problem voting for a white woman or black woman. I don't have any problem voting for a gay white man. I voted for Carol when she ran against Barry.
    As a Dem I crossed over and voted for Carol that time.
    I wished she had run as Independent back then she would have
    been Mayor.
    Ms Bowser is a Fenty clone I did not care for him.
    I am unsure about Catania as any body should know Carol will take votes from Bowser as well as Catania.
    I was not looking forward to voting in the election but this news has me happy.
    Catania would have got my vote but Carol gets it now.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com Milton

    Catania is straight from Fox News. It's Muriel for me!!!

  • Anon

    "Any smart person knows Carol pulls more votes from Bowser than David."

    Because you say so? How does that make any sense?

    Bowser supporters chose her over Catania, i.e., they do not want Catania to win. Why would they now abandon Bowser to support a candidate that has no chance of winning, which will in turn help Catania's odds of winning. Riddle me that.

    Schwarz's role is to be the smart person that Bowser is not. Schwarz, and her 5%, can now debate Catania on the specifics allowing Bowser to continue to use meaningless generalities like "Alice Deal for All."

  • Anonymous,Too

    "Schwarz's role is to be the smart person that Bowser is not."

    No fool like an old fool.

  • HOLLABACK4LIFE

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE. CAROL SCHWARTZ HAS BEEN OUT OF POLITICS FOR "5" YEARS, THIS IS HER "5TH" TIME RUNNING FOR MAYOR AND WE HAVE "5" MONTHS UNTIL THE GENERAL ELECTION. MAKE WAY FOR THE "TRIPLE NICKEL". DAVID CATANIA VERY DISRESPECTFUL CALLING HER SULIMON BROWN. THERE IS A "PRICE" TO PAY !!!!

  • DCShadyBoots

    This is a sulimon brown type stunt. Cynical and VERY transparent stunt.

  • REALDC

    Carol Schwartz, please.

    She is an "old gas bag" that lost to Patrick Mara. She does not have a chance and will drop out by September.

    DC is not going backwards....... Old DC pols are NOT what we need today. This shows how Bowser is so weak..... The "old gas bag" thinks she has a chance..hahahahaha!

    Get REAL!

  • Rich Peterson

    Carol is Back!

    Yes, we know her and Carol goes by, "Carol." In the biz, we call that, "Name Equity." And, it certainly helps with campaigns. Even if the contender has been running for well over one year, "Name Equity is Everything."

    Unless of course, you're one of the 75,000+ thirty-something's or younger who just came into the city.

    The corrupt practices of DC politics must come to an end.
    And, look at Carol's record of over 40 years. Not one scandal or hint of malfeasance has ever been associated with her campaigning, fundraising, governance and good standing in the city.

    Naysayers, gotta get her on something else. Why not go after the "Costume Jewelry." Blame her for making a "Fashion Statement." It has always served her and every other female well.

    There is a reason why Statehood has always been at issue.

    Look at the behavior of our citizens on these posts. Carol has always been on the front end of this fight and when Carol was a Republican running for Mayor in 2002, Carol may have just had a shot with our former leader, President George Bush. We blew it on that one.

    If there were hurt feelings over Catania's support of Patrick Mara in lieu of Carol, during her re-election in the Republican primary in 2008, they certainly do not exist today.

    Five years later in a very happy and successful retirement erases any signs of anger. Just look at anyone of us. Is it human nature to hold onto such negativity?
    As, Paul Simon says, "Time Heals All Wounds." Let's move off of the Catania sentiment. Frankly, I have always liked Catania and he has city support. Just now, he has some healthy competition.

    As for upcoming debates, Schwartz and Catania are exceptional debaters. Bowser needs work. A lot.

    Carol will show up and speak, unlike Mayor gray did in the last election. Carol doesn't doge debates or forums. She soars in them.

    Carol and Catania (Nice to ring to that "Term of Art,") will "Battle" each other well. Both are well spoken and coherent.

    Bowser's performance is weak. And, Over three years ago, I was certain this seat was hers. And, it was confirmed when Gray jumped in. All the other candidates had their own baggage and no chance of success.

    Then, Enter Catania? And, now Carol. Will Vincent Gray try a write-in as an Independent. In this town, one never knows.

    Carol will create a buzz, good will and likeability. That's all you need in a campaign. Carol has the instinctive and ingrained gift to "Own Any Room" Carol enters. Carol has a rowdy laugh and charm that brings an audience to their feet. Her deliberate and focused discussion empowers voters to rise to the occasion.
    Let's cut to the chase on all of this nonsense regarding why Carol is returning to DC politics.

    Most of you here consider yourselves, "Politicos." In the event you are in your element, then you clearly know there are dozens of reasons "Not to Enter a Political Crusade Four Months Before Showtime." Let's look at the extraordinary amount of work that goes into campaigning.

    Fundraising

    Political Forums (Debates)

    Campaign activities (walking neighborhoods, shaking hands, kissing babies, speeches, etc)

    Public Events (Adams Morgan Day, Pride Day, Passports DC, July 4 Parades, Halloween/Oktoberfest/Pumpkin Festivals, DC Drag Queen High Heel Race, National Hispanic Day, Barbecue Battle, DC Fashion Week, Latino Festival, etc. I haven't even begun to reference all the events that will put a candidate's scheduler into panic mode.

    Grassroots organizing: Recruiting campaign captains in every ward. They will run many campaigns in that voting district to distribute literature, making phone calls, defending Carol against criticism, encouraging neighbors and friends to support Carol, etc.

    Developing and Securing Endorsements. Developing a list of prominent people and organizations who will endorse and encourage their constituents to support Carol and work for her election effort.

    Developing a Communications Program. Executing a communications plan for earned media, paid media, and to direct voter contact with a campaign website, social media, brochures, press kits, press releases, email newsletters, white papers etc. And, most importantly, securing every email address for every district voter.

    And, then communicating with them frequently.

    Developing and Distributing Press Releases, Whitepapers, and Position Papers. Detailing the issues that are most important to Carol. How Carol will solve the problems that exist for District residents. Executing talking points about the issues and philosophy of how Carol will govern. This includes opposition research.

    Oh yeah, I forgot. Carol is allegedly a Rehoboth Beach Buff. You can rest assured Carol will not make that commute for the next four months even with the multitude of district residents summering there, Carol needs to reach hundreds of thousands of people. They are not having Happy Hour at the Blue Moon.

    As for fundraising, some of you think Carol is going to fund her campaign with savings. Do you really believe Carol has that kind of money sitting in her "nest egg?" If so, then turn in your "Politico Game Card." Muriel Bowser currently has well over $700,000 cash on hand remaining for the general election. And she already spent $1.5 million launching her campaign. And as we all know, the big money will come in over the next four months. Do the math! Do you really think Carol Schwartz has that kind of money laying around?

    Okay, maybe one or two of you "politicos" did put the most logical "burden" for Carol to put together. Carol has to "create and install" a Campaign Team. Theme. Organization. And, more.

    Piece of cake, right?

    Suffice it to say, over the next four plus months, there will be 24/7 work on the campaign. If she wins, she will need quite the vacation before she begins office, when Carol should be assembling her government. If she loses, she will embrace yet another Take II Retirement.

    And, for all of you who insist on calling Carol a, "Has-Been," let's put the right face on it. A "Has-Been" is someone who is no longer popular or successful. No would deny that Carol is quite popular and her activities, especially in public service (Volunteerism) is quite successful. One could say, Carol is a, "Once-Was."

    Carol "Once-Was" a Very Successful and Popular Elected Official.

    Carol believes in herself and her abilities, as evidenced with Carol's campaigns against Marion Barry and Tony Williams. Why would she go up and against Bowser and Catania with all of these disadvantages in assembling her campaign on such short notice, if she didn't think, she had a chance in hell.

    Switching Carol's registration from Republican to Independent will only support and soar her candidacy. Look at all those hundreds of thousands of voters she came into contact with Carol over her 28 years of elected office. Would a "Democratic Label" have supported Carol's efforts? Sure, then she wouldn't have created, "Democrats for Carol," giving voters permission to cross party lines. And the results of Carol's two most recent Mayoral runs proved it work. Now, there is no more, "Sell Job." How so many "Dyed-in-the-Wool" Democrats had begged Carol to do so earlier.

    “Perennial Mayoral Candidate?” Only, Carol! Only Carol has the innate skill to turn any negative into a positive. Carol addressed it in her announcement: "The dictionary defines "perennial" as constant, lasting, unfailing, unchanging, abiding, enduring." Yep, that adequately and beautifully characterizes who Carol is and what she does. She's right, "These are actually some of the qualities DC Voters should look for in a Mayor.

    Oh, and Carol has a full understanding of the issues.

    Google Carol's record.

    Read Carol's announcement to enter the race this week.

    From her successful elected runs on the School Board and voted into leadership positions, she brought back standardized tests and saw scores rise. Carol participated in firing an inadequate superintendent to make way for two very successful ones. Carol championed Banneker Academic High School. Carol instituted back to basic curriculum. Carol advocated for a longer school day and year as well as stronger evaluations of teachers. And, at the time, Carol's first child out of three was born circa 40+ years ago, Carol and her late husband were on their way to become people of means. Carol chose to enroll all three of her children in DC Public Schools. Pre K through Grade 12. No private schools for Carol. Not, that she didn't see the value for District residents to take that path, but she was putting her focus on building a system all residents could be proud of. That's Carol.

    Let's Look at a Few of Carol's Many Accomplishments:

    In Carol's earlier years on the Council, Carol lowered the income tax from 11% to 9.5%. Carol fought for seniors to remain in their homes by allowing them to defer rising property taxes until they decided to sell.

    Carol lowered D.C.’s inheritance tax (the highest in the country at the time) to match the federal level.

    Carol created two annual tax free holidays for back-to school and holiday purchases.

    In addition to embracing the "Comeback" of our city, in which she played a major part, Carol is most concerned about the district residents who are being left behind or pushed out. Carol has always concentrated on the disenfranchised and the welfare of all city residents. Not, just the 1%, of which she is not member.

    Carol was the sole voice on the council to stop the earmarks and naturally, was unsuccessful. The earmarks continued and prospered. The corruption on the council needed to stay alive and well.

    However, Carol was successful in stopping members of the Council from raising the amounts collected for their Constituent Service Funds, knowing they were plum for harm. When Carol left office, her voice was diminished and the Council proceeded with unanimously doubling the amount of funds they could raise each year. The earmarks got even bigger in number and amounts. And, the corruption continued. That's right. Maybe, Carol was just "Too Ethical" for the job?

    Carol banned the DC government purchase of SUV's except for emergency use; which certainly wasn't in play when D.C. Council chairman, Kwame R. Brown was elected and he ordered a "fully loaded" Lincoln Navigator L with a DVD entertainment system, power moon roof and polished aluminum wheels. Alas, the corruption continued.

    And the Corruption Still Continues. Carol's name, history or legacy cannot be remotely associated with any of it. Carol has always been squeaky clean in her campaigning, not one allegation against her and with her governance, not one censure or reprimand. You cannot find them cleaner than Carol.

    Carol Is Corrupt Free. And, that is one "Factoid" we can all agree on.

    Was Carol ever ahead of her time? Repeatedly! Specifically, 13 years ago, when she pressured Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins owner, to change the destructive name of our football team back in 2001, over a decade before President Obama and other prominent Washingtonians jumped in. Carol was successful in securing the resolution from the D.C. Council and the Council of Governments.

    Ahead of her time? Carol prohibited the harassment of students based on sexual orientation. This was long before The Supremes ruling on Gay Marriage last year and all the national dialogue on bullying.

    And, Carol enacted the strongest Whistleblower Protection Law in the country which was replicated by the federal government. Not too shabby. And, again, "Ahead of her time."

    I remember past campaign mantras where Carol wanted to kill the "15 minute Quarters" on the meters, which are now, "75 Cents" or more for 15 minutes. Carol removed most parking meter fees on weekends and evenings and loosened parking rules for residents overnight.

    And for us Nats fans, Carol voted for baseball after ensuring that the District got the best deal possible from Major League Baseball. It's a shame Carol's not managing or coaching the team to help them reach for higher heights.

    Carol may have ultimately lost in 2008 on her ground-breaking D.C. mandated paid sick and safe leave bill, but it was the first of its kind in the nation (Again, ahead of her time) and that is a very good way to go out.

    So, after reading this diatribe, what are you expected to do? Sign Carol's petition as Carol needs 3,000 signatures and jump on her campaign and bring her to victory.

    Rich Peterson
    A Loyal Supporter, Follower and Voter During Her Years of Service.

  • http://www.foshagerformayor.com/ Ben Foshager for Mayor

    Hasn't happened yet. By that I mean, Carol dropping out. Perhaps October will be the month? THEN, we have November in which anything can happen.

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