Brown Considers Run for Democratic At-Large Seat
D.C. Council member Michael Brown (I), who recently lost his seat on the council to political newcomer David Grosso in the Nov. 6 general election, said that he is considering his options in 2013.
"First of all, I have not made a decision on whether I will run for the vacant at-large seat on the D.C. Council," Brown, 47, said correcting media reports that stated that he will be a candidate next year. "I have been talking to people who want to convince me to run."
In 2008, Brown, a lifelong Democrat, changed his registration to Independent and won the general election in November 2008 to serve at-large as a D.C. Council member.
Brown said that he will make his final decision on the at-large race at the end of December.
"When I make that decision and I will come home and switch my registration to Democrat," he said.
Brown said that he is conducting an informal listening tour throughout the District, hearing residents' concerns about what needs to be done in the city.
"People are telling me that they want my voice on the city council," he said. "They want more affordable housing and economic development and they want me to help the poor and our most vulnerable citizens. And they are being persuasive."
Brown said that people are saying that he got a "raw deal" on Nov. 6. During the campaign, Brown was criticized by his opponents and the media for problems related to his personal and campaign finances and personal conduct.
He said the accusations against him were unfair.
"Since I have been on the council, there have been no ethical or legal issues with me," Brown said. "I do not believe that I was given a fair shake."
Johnson Defends Himself, Talks Politics
Lenwood Johnson, the longtime Ward 1A10 advisory neighborhood commissioner who was defeated in the Nov. 6 general election, wants to set the record straight about his personal use of a government cell phone.
Published reports indicated that Johnson, 52, used the cell phone given to 1A commissioners for use for public business to call adults-only chat lines. Johnson said that isn't the full story.
"This was an effort by my opponent [Anthony Cimino] and commissioners who don't like me to get me out of office," he said. "That is why they brought this out. I have had this phone since 2008 and it is the only phone that I have."
Johnson has served as a commissioner since 1992, with breaks. In 1996, he ran unsuccessfully for the D.C. school board and was re-elected as a commissioner in 1998.
Johnson said that he called the chat line on minutes that he paid for. He said that it's not unusual for commissioners to use their cell phones for personal matters and he has not been investigated by the ANC auditors' office or his commission for misuse.
He said that he has not called any chat lines since the Nov. 6 election, in which he lost 67-31 percent.
Johnson said that he understood what was really going on.
"It's political and I am fair game," he said.
Johnson has served on the D.C. Democratic State Committee since 2000 and has thoughts on who should take Phil Mendelson's at-large seat on the D.C. Council.
"Let me say first of all that I want someone on the D.C. State Committee to have that appointment," he said. "I recently learned that Stanley Mayes is not running so it looks like I will have to choose between Anita Bonds, Douglass Sloan and John Capozzi."
Johnson's ideal candidate in the 2013 special election for the at-large seat would be former D.C. Superior Court Judge Mary Terrell.
"Judge Terrell would make a wonderful city council member," he said. "She is fair and level-headed."