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D.C. POLITICAL ROUNDUP

James Wright | , WI Staff Writer | 12/8/2011, 2:03 p.m.
Race for April 3...

Race for April 3

Orange is Ready to Go

D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D) has named the leaders of his campaign for his 2012 race to get the Democratic Party nomination for an At-Large seat on the District's legislature. Orange, recently elected to the D.C. Council in an April special election because of the elevation of then D.C. Council member Kwame Brown to the position of D.C. Council Chairman, said Joe Johnson will serve as his campaign chairman and former D.C. City Administrator Michael Rogers will serve as the chairman of the campaign's finance committee.

Orange, 54, was first elected to the D.C. Council in 1998 and served until 2007. In 2006, he made an unsuccessful bid for mayor and in 2010 he ran against Brown for the Democratic Party nomination for D.C. Council Chair.

Orange said he is running for re-election based on his credentials and a desire for change.

"I represent a fresh start and a new beginning," he said. "I have a record of achievement that is second to none. I have the financial expertise to lead this city during tough times."

Orange plans to push aiding local businesses, economic development and helping residents obtain employment and government contracts.

Biddle Seeks Old Job

Former D.C. Council member Sekou Biddle, defeated by Orange in the April special election to replace Brown, will take on Orange again in the April 3 Democratic primary. Biddle, a former Ward 4 representative on the D.C. State Board of Education, was picked as a temporary replacement for Brown on the D.C. Council by members of the D.C. State Democratic Committee in January. Biddle made his announcement on Nov. 4 at the KIP Charter School in Southeast.

Biddle said that he can provide the leadership that the city needs.

"The city faces serious problems and needs leaders who are committed to solutions," Biddle said. "During the campaign, I will focus on improving our educational system and efficiency in government."

GOP'S Brooks Will Run At-Large

Former Ward 6 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Mary Beatty Brooks is a candidate for one of the at-large positions on the D.C. Council in 2012. Brooks, a Republican, will vie with D.C. Council member Michael Brown (I-At-Large) for the position on the legislature that is filled for minority party candidates.

Brooks will face Brown on Tue., Nov. 6 in the general election. She faces no Republican so far in her primary race.

A resident of Northeast, Brooks moved to the District 12 years ago and became active in shuttering a liquor store in 2002 that was a facilitator of crime in her area. She was elected to the ANC 6A in 2004 and in six years she rose to become vice chair.

Brooks, who has professional experience as an executive level-leader in the public and private sectors, said that she wants to help the city thrive.

"I want to improve the quality of life in the city," she said. "I want to promote a more transparent, inclusive style of government in D.C. and serve the city in a way that restores integrity to the Council."

Bowser Blasts Bowser

Ward 4 Democratic Party D.C. Council Candidate Renee Bowser said that D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (no relation) said that the incumbent's efforts for ethics reform are a "disappointment."

In a statement released by her campaign on Wed., Nov. 30, Renee Bowser criticized the legislator's bill for "dodging endemic issues like nepotism, cronyism and conflict of interest-toxic problems that have deflated the public's confidence in local elected leaders over the past year. The centerpiece of her reform bill is the creation of a new bureaucracy to enforce the city's ethics laws," Renee Bowser said.

"But guess who gets to appoint and confirm the members of this agency? The mayor and the council-the same folks whose ethical missteps this new bureaucracy is supposed to police," she said.

Renee Bowser, a union attorney, proposes strengthening the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics by making it a watchdog for such matters. She also questioned Muriel Bowser's political relationship with lawyer-lobbyist David Wilmot, who she said hosted a fundraiser for the legislator. Renee Bowser will face off against Muriel Bowser on Tue., April 3, 2012 in the Democratic Party primary.