- The Washington Times - Monday, September 11, 2000

Voters in tomorrow's District of Columbia party primary elections will choose nominees for seats on the D.C. Council in four wards.

Council incumbents hope voters will want to give them credit for the city's recovery from near financial collapse in the mid-1990s. They are touting four balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility, tax cuts and the imminent dissolution of the congressionally mandated D.C. financial control board.

"The city is doing remarkably better than four years ago," said Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, who pushed for the tax cut passed by the council last year.

The hottest race is in Ward 4, where the old guard is being challenged by an emerging youth movement in the Democratic Party. Charlene Drew Jarvis, the council's senior member, faces a tough fight from Adrian Fenty, a member of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

The strength of Mr. Fenty's populist campaign is evident through the 2,700 yard signs with his name that residents have posted in every corner of the ward.

Mrs. Jarvis has been pooling political muscle from Mayor Anthony A. Williams with several large-scale plans for development along the Georgia Avenue corridor, including a $111 million initiative that will bring the city's Department of Motor Vehicles to the ward. Mr. Williams has made several trips to the ward, including a walking tour of future development with Mrs. Jarvis last week.

Interesting races also could develop east of the Anacostia River for incumbents Sandra Allen, Ward 8 Democrat, and Kevin Chavous, Ward 7 Democrat.

"We have seen progress in our community," Miss Allen said, adding that she has been working for 2* years to get more police officers on the streets.

Among the major issues in Ward 8 is a need for better city services, including cleaner, safer streets, removal of abandoned cars, nuisance properties and street repairs.

"Whatever the incumbent has done, it's not been enough," said Ward 8 candidate Dion Jordan, who was ward coordinator during Mr. Williams' campaign for mayor. "The residents of Ward 8 deserve better than to be left behind."

D.C. taxicab commissioner and community watchdog Sandra Seegars also is making her second bid for the Ward 8 seat. Like others, Miss Seegars has been working for years to bring a grocery store to the ward, and promises not to "lose touch with the community."

"I'm going to be back and forth to the council and the community those are the only two places I'm going to go," Miss Seegars said. Winifred Freeman is also on the ballot in Ward 8.

Mr. Chavous faces challenges in Ward 7 from Durand A. Ford, Gary R. Feenster, Robert B. Hunter and Mary D. Jackson.

The two at-large incumbents Republican Carol Schwartz and Democrat Harold Brazil, face no opponents in tomorrow's primaries. Former Mayor Marion Barry had considered running for Mr. Brazil's seat before deciding this summer not to enter the race.

The District has 290,930 registered voters, and getting folks to the polls is a concern for all of the candidates, particularly the incumbents who believe they have the support of their communities.

"My biggest concern is turnout a big turnout helps me," said Mr. Evans, who faces opposition from Ray Avrutis, John Fanning and Pete Ross.

"I hope a lot of people will come out and participate," Miss Allen said. "As African-Americans, we have to come to the polls and vote."

Miss Seegars has held a voter registration drive and has organized taxis to bring voters to the polls in Ward 8, which has had a low turnout in recent elections.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Only D.C. voters affiliated with the four major parties Democratic, Republican, D.C. Statehood or Umoja may participate in the primary.

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