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As a lawmaker, he supported substantial residential and commercial development of the Fort Lincoln neighborhood and for Costco to open its first D.C. store. Mention of the good he had done quickly flipped his solemn reflections into a small measure of optimism.

“It’ll be open by the time I get home,” he said, “when I’ll be looking for a job.”

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.