- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The D.C. Council’s longest-serving member took a giant step closer to securing a sixth term when his opponent dropped out of the race on Wednesday, citing a bizarre chain of events that included a man peering into the windows of her Georgetown home.

Fiona Greig announced she will not challenge Jack Evans for the Democratic nomination to the Ward 2 seat he has held for 20 years, in part because of an “intimidation campaign” by the veteran legislator’s team.

In her announcement, Ms. Greig said she heard that a private investigator had been hired to obtain records on her and “maybe that explains the man who repeatedly walked past my house one night, looking in the windows.”

In addition, she says she got muffled phone calls about the “dirt” her opponent had on her and that a person working on her behalf “received nasty emails from the opposing campaign.”

“We need to change the nature of the local D.C. politics to welcome more residents to take part in our political process - not spend time and money to shut them out,” Ms. Greig said.

Asked about the development, Mr. Evans referred questions to his campaign strategist, Tom Lindenfeld, as he rushed to a hearing at the John A. Wilson Building on Wednesday morning.

Mr. Lindenfeld said the campaign did not hire a private investigator to spy on Ms. Greig and he was “completely amazed” by the announcement.

“This is fiction at its best,” he said, noting it is common procedure to obtain opponents’ campaign filings.

Ken Archer, Ms. Greig’s campaign chairman, wrote Wednesday on the website Greater Greater Washington that he saw the man Ms. Greig described as a private investigator pacing up and down her street and acting suspiciously while smoking a cigar.

“He just decided that this was a P.I.,” Mr. Lindenfeld said. “Did he wear a knit cap as well?”

Mr. Evans has raised an impressive $233,000 and had $120,000 on hand for his campaign as of early October, according to filings with the Office of Campaign Finance.

Yet he will run unopposed unless another candidate files with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics by the Jan. 4 deadline.

With yet another term in sight, he will likely pass former council members Charlene Drew Jarvis, Ward 4 Democrat in 1979-2001, and Hilda Howland M. Mason, at-large member in 1977-1999, as the longest-serving council member in D.C. history.

Ms. Greig’s short-lived challenge suffered a setback last week when the Washington City Paper reported her campaign accidentally had filed a list of people they hoped to target for donations, including a person referred to as “Homosexual McKinsey.”

Ms. Greig, who works at a consulting firm called McKinsey and Company, told the Washington City Paper she was embarrassed that the list, which included a staffer’s shorthand descriptions of people, had been filed with campaign finance officials.

Nevertheless she received the endorsement of Georgetown University’s newspaper, the Hoya, on Monday.

“I made some mistakes in trying to wage a campaign, but I don’t consider it a mistake that I tried,” she said Wednesday. “After six weeks of intense effort, I decided I just wasn’t ready to mount the kind of campaign it would take to win,” she said.

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