- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 30, 2002

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams told reporters yesterday that he would wait for the official written order from the Board of Elections and Ethics denying him access to the Sept. 10 Democratic primary ballot before deciding on plans for his re-election campaign.
"It will be sooner, rather than later," Mr. Williams said of his decision. "It will be done as quickly as possible, early this week."
The three-member elections board removed Mr. Williams from the ballot Friday, citing thousands of forged signatures on his nominating petitions. The board's action disregarded the recommendation of Registrar of Voters Kathy Fairley, who determined that 2,235 of the more than 10,000 petition signatures were valid.
The mayor needed 2,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.
Options Mr. Williams is considering include appealing the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals, running a write-in campaign for the Democratic primary and seeking 3,000 petition signatures for a run as an independent in November.
Saturday, Mr. Williams said he would make a decision before today. But Williams campaign spokeswoman Ann Walker Marchant said the elections board, which was expected to complete its written order soon after the announcement Friday, still hadn't done so.
"They were expected to have done it," Miss Marchant said. "We're still waiting on it."
Bill O'Field, spokesman for the elections board, said the written order would be the document Mr. Williams' legal team would use to appeal if it decides to challenge the board's decision and that it will be issued to Mr. Williams today.
The board had until today to issue the report, Mr. O'Field said. "That's the deadline, and they're operating within that deadline," he said.
Mr. Williams, who appeared yesterday at the U.S. Postal Service's central mail-processing facility on Brentwood Road NE, seemed annoyed by questions about recent scandals that have plagued his re-election efforts.
In addition to dealing with the forged petition signatures, Mr. Williams is being sued by a consultant who raised much of the campaign's $1.4 million fund, The Washington Times reported yesterday.
"This has been a dispute that has gone on for several months," Mr. Williams said of the lawsuit.
Weeks ago, Mr. Williams seemed to be cruising toward a second term as mayor, but uncertainty about his campaign has delivered a wake-up call to his staff, Miss Marchant said. The mayor hit the streets Sunday and yesterday to solicit opinions from the public.
"It has really energized the campaign," Miss Marchant said of the election board's decision.


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