- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 23, 2002

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams told more than 300 cheering supporters yesterday what has for months been a forgone conclusion in the city: He's running for a second four-year term.

With gospel music in the background and supporters eating a noon buffet of hot dogs and popcorn, Mr. Williams promised the throng progress in his second term on improving D.C. schools, reforming health care, increasing economic development in neighborhoods and addressing the shortage of affordable housing.

He said the headway the city has made in recent years is not enough.

"No matter who I'm running or not running against, my platform and my issues haven't changed," Mr. Williams said.

"We have brought a sense of pride back to our city," he said, citing his record of fiscal responsibility. "Gone are the days of billion-dollar deficits, the control board and junk-bond ratings."

Mr. Williams is running against 11 others heading into the Democratic primary on Sept. 10, but only Johnny Barnes, executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington chapter, is said to have name recognition around the District.

Longtime political pundit and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Lawrence T. Guyot Jr. said that doesn't matter. "The mayor is running against himself and his own record."

He said the mayor, who is black, is viewed with increasing skepticism by the city's black voters.

"It is possible we could see the mayor get 90 percent of the white vote and 25 percent or less of the black support," Mr. Guyot said.

In his speech, Mr. Williams said the city continues to be divided by "color, economy and geography."

"That can't go on; our diversity is our strength."

The carnival atmosphere brought out a who's who of D.C. politics and business, including D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, at-large Democrat, and eight other members.

Notably absent, though, were Mr. Williams' longtime rival, council member Kevin P. Chavous, Ward 7 Democrat; former Mayor Marion Barry; D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton; and council member Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat.

Despite the multitude of supporters, Mr. Williams couldn't dodge a few protesters critical of his support for closing D.C. General Hospital and for gentrifying the city.

A number of residents held up signs saying, "Developer's Paradise, Citizens Doom" and "No Public Hospital, No Vote."

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide