Recall Effort is Dormant, Not Dead
The movement to recall D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D) has been suspended but could be revived if the situation merits, said its chief organizer.
Frederick C. Butler, a strategic communications services consultant who has close ties to friends of former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, submitted petitions to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics on Mon., Feb. 13 to recall the city's top two political leaders but stopped operations shortly afterward.
"Some of our backers wanted to see the results of the investigations," Butler, 28, said. "Depending on what happens with the investigations, we will see what happens next."
Gray and Brown are being investigated for violation of elections laws for their 2010 and 2008 campaigns, respectively.
Butler, a resident of Northwest, would have needed 45,000 signatures from registered voters in five of the city's eight wards in 180 days in order for the elections board to put the recall before the voters. If the signatures proved to be valid, the elections board would have set a date for the recall election.
Biddle Takes a Breather
Former D.C. Council member Sekou Biddle said that he's taking a break from politics, but he's definitely not through with the business.
"I am spending time with my wife and doing things that fathers do such as teaching my kid how to ride a bike," Biddle said. "I have also taken time to go fishing. I am reacquainting myself with my family."
Biddle, 40, was selected as a member of the D.C. Council in January 2011 by the D.C. State Democratic Committee as a result of Kwame Brown's election as council chairman in the November 2010 general election. Brown served as an at-large member of the District's legislative body from 2005-2011.
Biddle served four months on the D.C. Council but was defeated in his attempt to keep the seat in an April 2011 special election by Vincent Orange, who currently holds the position. Biddle lost to Orange by a slim margin in the Tue., April 3 Democratic primary despite dominating precincts west of 16th Street, NW and racially-mixed neighborhoods in Ward 6.
Biddle said that he's not thinking about 2014, when two at-large seats, the mayor, the D.C. Attorney General, the chairman and Wards 1, 3, 5, and 6 will be up for re-election. A resident of Ward 4, Biddle said that "he is looking for the right opportunity."
D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and former D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz chatted after the swearing-in of D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5). However, the two veteran politicians didn't disclose the nature of their conversation.
Bowser, 39, has been mentioned for months as a potential 2014 mayoral candidate. Brandon Todd, a protégé of Bowser's, said that the "council woman has only been focusing on the November election."
Schwartz, 68, ran for mayor of the District in 1986, 1994 and 1998 as a Republican, getting 33, 42 and 30 percent of the vote, respectively. Bowser and Schwartz served on the D.C. Council together in 2007 and 2008. Schwartz ran for re-election in 2008 but lost in the general election as a write-in to independent Michael Brown.