- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 14, 2007

At the beginning of the D.C. Council’s first legislative session last week — one that stretched hours as members new and old made their first bill introductions of the new year — Chairman Vincent C. Gray asked Co-Chairman Jack Evans to make a standard waiver motion to get the proceedings moving.

“So moved, Madame Chair,” said Mr. Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, who spent a lot of time on the council serving as vice chairman and sitting next to former Chairman Linda W. Cropp. Maybe too much time.

The habitual response by Mr. Evans — who now has a seat next to Mr. Gray — drew hearty laughter from other council members and the audience gathered to watch the proceedings.

Mr. Gray, the council’s former Ward 7 representative, had a chuckle himself and said the slip-up was indicative of the respect held for Mrs. Cropp and her tenure on the council.

“Once again, an outstanding affirmation of the job Chairman Cropp did,” Mr. Gray said.

• Mr. Chairman X 2

Vincent C. Gray is now chairman of not just one governmental body, but two.

The new chairman of the D.C. Council was elected last week to the top post at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

The council is an association of 21 jurisdictions in the Washington area.

Mr. Gray was chairman of the COG’s Human Services Policy Committee. He worked on regional issues such as predatory lending, day laborers and foster care.

The vice chairmen will be Montgomery County Council member Michael Knapp, and Fairfax County Supervisor Penelope A. Gross.

Mt. Gray has been a member of the D.C. Council since 2005 and was elected chairman in November, replacing Linda W. Cropp.

• Going to jail

A former mayor of Gate City, Va., was sentenced Tuesday to spend 196 days in jail and to pay a fine of $51,500 for manipulating absentee ballots to win re-election in 2004.

Two Scott County juries last year convicted Charles Dougherty of 29 counts of vote fraud in the May 2004 election in the Southwest Virginia town.

Prosecutors said Dougherty sought out elderly and unsophisticated voters in their homes and persuaded them to give false reasons for voting by absentee ballot. In some cases, voters testified, Dougherty filled out their ballots and voted for himself.

Dougherty won re-election by two votes. He got 138 of the 158 absentee ballots cast.

• GOP executive

Charles E. Judd, a Republican Party organizer who worked for Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and ran for Congress, will be the state party’s new executive director.

Republican state Chairman Ed Gillespie announced the appointment Thursday.

Mr. Judd, 64, began his political career in Ohio, where he was elected to the City Council in Fairfield in 1968 and later was vice mayor.

He was executive director of the Ohio Republican Party from 1977 to 1979, when he became deputy finance director of the Republican National Committee and moved to Virginia. He now lives in Lynchburg.

Mr. Judd worked for the Moral Majority from 1984 to 1988, training its local leaders in grass-roots organizing. In 1988, he unsuccessfully challenged Rep. James R. Olin, a Democrat, for his 6th District House seat.

• Gary Emerling contributed to this column, which is based in part on wire service reports.

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