Ron Moten, former head of the nonprofit Peaceaholics, will now toss his hat into the Ward 7 race as a Republican.
During a phone interview Friday with The Washington Informer, Moten, 41, said switching his registration from the Democratic Party to the GOP, "might not be the most popular thing to do, but it is the right thing to do."
Moten formally announced the switch-over on Oct. 22 during a campaign kick-off at Woodlawn Cemetery. He said he chose the cemetery -- located on Benning Road, and which is in a state of disrepair -- because of its historical relevance as well as to bring attention to dilapidated conditions in Ward 7.
"The cemetery is a symbol of what's going on in Ward 7 and it's an historic landmark," Moten said. "Blanche Bruce, the first African- American senator to serve a full term, and the only African American whose signature is on U.S. currency, is buried there." Moten added that at least seven people for whom District of Columbia Public Schools are named, are also interred at Woodlawn.
An outspoken critic of Mayor Vincent Gray and the current 13-member governing body -- Moten who announced his candidacy this past spring, will vie to unseat incumbent Democratic Councilmember Yvette Alexander.
The party switch makes Moten the first Republican to run for the Council in 2012, and he said he made the decision to give voters another choice. It's also the best way tfor himn to confront issues facing the District and to educate the community, Moten added.
"For instance, a lot of people know we are spending more than $3 million on the new Homeland Security headquarters in Southeast," Moten said. "But few know that no one from Barry Farms is getting jobs on the project."