Councilmember Vincent Orange (D) has spent the past two decades trying to convince District voters that he is the "best man for the job." Since his political career began in 1993 when he ran an unsuccessful bid for the Ward 5 council seat against incumbent Harry Thomas, Sr., Orange later successfully unseated Thomas and served two terms. Setting his sights on bigger fish in 2006, Orange ran an unsuccessful bid for mayor and came in fourth against an impressive line-up that included Ward 4 Council member Adrian Fenty, Council Chairman Linda Cropp and former Verizon executive Marie Johns. Fenty won.
In 2010, Orange challenged at-large council member Kwame Brown for Council Chair and lost. His successful bid against Sekou Biddle in this year's primary race in April finally landed him back on the D.C. City Council, but after last week's ordeal following the resignation of Chairman Kwame Brown, it's clear that Orange isn't satisfied with the seat he currently holds.
He wanted his colleagues to give him the chance to ascend to the chairmanship, but after it was clear the votes would go to At-large member Phil Mendelson (D), Orange said he would be satisfied with chairman pro-tempore. That wasn't happening either, which is why Orange has been criticized for his Muhammad Ali-style behavior claiming himself to be the best over his colleague, Michael Brown (I), who the council selected 8-4 to serve as chair pro tem. In addition to a vote for himself, support for Orange came from Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6).
Despite what some have described as Orange's divisive behavior on the dais last week, we believe voters should begin to examine Orange's record and determine for themselves the motivation behind his determination and commitment to public service. Much of what Orange says about himself is true and his record proves that he is smart, hard-working and knows how to play by a set of fair and ethical rules, which he strongly supported last fall. Voters should not be put off by his self-assuredness, for much has been said about the failures of those who lack confidence, and the success of those who are self-assured.
Orange will be running for the chairman's seat in November and we believe he is qualified for the job.