- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2002

D.C. voters elected Mayor Anthony A. Williams to a second term yesterday in a surprise-free election that also saw seven D.C. Council incumbents reclaim their seats.
Mr. Williams, a Democrat, easily handed his Republican challenger, at-large council member Carol Schwartz, her second defeat, winning 63,131 votes to her 35,984, with 81 percent (115 out of 142) of the precincts reporting unofficially.
"I want residents to know that no matter how challenged I was, no matter how dark things looked for our campaign, I was always proud to be your mayor," he said last night during his acceptance speech. "You ain't seen nothing yet."
This was Mrs. Schwartz's fourth loss in a mayoral election, and she vowed as she did in the 1998 election to never again seek the office.
"I will not run again. I'm tired of losing. But I love this city, and I will continue to use my seat on the council to serve its people," Mrs. Schwartz said earlier in the day.
Last night, she conceded the race and thanked her volunteer staff.
After a summer campaign wrought with controversy about forged petitions for Mr. Williams, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics kept him off the Sept. 10 Democratic primary ballot. After a weeklong series of hearings and a failed appeal to the D.C. Court of Appeals, he was forced to run as a write-in candidate.
Mrs. Schwartz had six weeks to campaign, because her acceptance of the Republican Party nomination came just after the Sept. 10 primary. Police groups, emergency medical workers and community organizations had endorsed her.
What was viewed as the most competitive D.C. race this election season for the two at-large seats on the council was anything but hotly contested.
Council member Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, easily reclaimed his seat with 71,568 votes. He was considered a shoo-in for re-election after winning the primary by more than 11,000 votes.
The other established at-large candidate, Republican council member David Catania, had a bit of a rockier road, facing Eugene Dewitt Kinlow, a Democrat running as an independent. Still, the race wasn't as competitive as predicted, with 42,147 votes going to Mr. Catania and 13,068 for Mr. Kinlow.
Other challengers in the at-large race included Statehood-Green candidate Michele A. Tingling-Clemmons (10,719 votes) and four more independent candidates: Chris Ray (4,552), Antonio D. Dominguez (3,433), Ahmad Braxton-Jones (2,826) and Kweku Toure (2,549).
D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp reclaimed her seat on the council with 86,824 votes, easily downing Statehood-Green candidate Debby Hanrahan with 10,734.
Ward 1 council member Jim Graham, Democrat, took home 8,055 votes to reclaim his seat, trouncing Statehood-Green candidate Edward Chico Troy, who garnered 1,327 votes. Mr. Graham's victory was all but assured following his convincing win in the primary, where his nearest challenger trailed him by more than 4,000 votes.
In the Ward 3 election, Democrat incumbent Kathy Patterson held off Republican Erik Rojo with 14,294 votes to his 3,918. Mrs. Patterson, a former journalist, also won by a large margin in the primary.
Ward 5 council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. claimed victory over Republican challenger Edward Henry Wolterbeek and Statehood-Green candidate and former school board member Gail Dixon. Mr. Orange received 11,914 votes, compared with 371 for Mr. Wolterbeek and 1,393 for Mrs. Dixon.
Sharon Ambrose, Ward 6 Democrat, also was re-elected over Statehood-Green challenger Jenefer Ellingston, getting 11,754 votes to her opponent's 2,068.
Eleanor Holmes Norton will serve a sixth term as the District's delegate to Congress, facing minimal opposition for her seat. Mrs. Norton claimed 93,735 votes in defeating Independent candidate Pat Kidd, who drew 6,380 votes.
Sen. Paul Strauss, a Democrat, was re-elected with 71,504 votes, beating out Republican Norma M. Sasaki's 9,522 votes and Statehood-Green candidate Joyce Robinson-Paul's 10,798.
U.S. Rep. Ray Browne, a Democrat, earned 74,507 votes on his way to defeating Statehood-Green candidate Adam Eidinger, who obtained 12,374 votes.
Meanwhile, D.C. residents, with a vote of 67,505 to 19,790, approved Initiative 62, which would offer drug rehabilitation instead of prison for some nonviolent offenders.
The voters also decided that the city should move forward with its efforts to elect a district attorney expanding home rule rather than retaining the system of using the U.S. attorney to prosecute felony cases. The referendum, named Advisory Referendum A, got 70,927 favorable votes for an elected D.C. prosecutor with 15,735 residents voting against the idea.
In District 3 of the D.C. Board of Education, Tommy Wells, who has served on the board since 2001, won with 11,565 votes over former board member Ben Bonham (6,997 votes), retired D.C. Department of Corrections employee Marshall R. Phillips Sr. (3,861) and homemaker and activist Sunday Abraham (1,606).
Peggy Cooper Cafritz, incumbent president of the education board, and William Lockridge, another board member, faced no competition in their bids for re-election.
The mayor's race in the District has been hounded by controversy after Mr. Williams, considered a shoo-in for a re-election, was removed from the primary ballot July 26 by the elections board after more than 60 percent of the signatures on his nominating petitions were found to be forged.
He was fined $250,000, the largest fine of its kind in the city's history. The mayor stayed with the Democratic Party, re-entering the race as a write-in candidate.
Mr. Williams bounced back to beat his closest challenger, the Rev. Willie F. Wilson, by more than 40,000 votes to become the Democratic candidate.
The mayor allowed a reporter from The Washington Times to travel with his motorcade yesterday morning as he visited more than a dozen polling places. He spoke candidly about his summer troubles and his desire to do better in his second term.
"There was a time there during [the primary] where I seriously thought I would lose," Mr. Williams said.
He said he could feel the anger residents felt about the petition scandal and other administrative deficiencies he wasn't able to fix in his first four years.
"It was a real mess, but we got through it. And I am a better candidate and a better mayor for it," Mr. Williams said.
Numerous residents took time to speak with the mayor before entering and leaving the polls, but even his supporters had their complaints. One resident at the Lafayette School in Ward 3 said he voted for the mayor, "but you have to do something about that police department."
Mr. Williams acknowledged his concerns and asked the gentleman for ideas, but the man didn't take the mayor seriously.
"It frustrates me sometimes that residents don't think I care about their ideas," the mayor said.
A large portion of Mr. Williams' agenda as mayor has come out of the three Neighborhood Action Citizens' Summits he has held each year.
By noon, the mayor got an idea about turnout from his poll captains.
"Ward 6 is high right now, and we are hearing what we expected in Wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, but 7 and 8 are still wide open," he said.
"I honestly don't care about the number. I just want to win. I'm proud to be the mayor, and want to finish the job I started."
Later that evening at a different precinct where the mayor was not present, a steady stream of voters walked into Trinity AME Zion Church at 16th and Oak streets NW to cast their votes under gray skies and chilly weather.
Michael Johnson, 28, a second-year theater major at the University of the District, and his friend Stacee Forde, 23, a theater major at Howard University, cast their votes at Precinct No. 41 in Northwest.
"People say that politicians lie that's not always true but it is our responsibility to find out what the politicians stand for," Mr. Johnson said. "Although, I'm a registered Democrat, I'm voting for Carol Schwartz today. Although, Anthony Williams is OK, I wasn't pleased with the write-in during the primary and I see neglect in Southeast. He doesn't seem to be concerned with certain areas of the city."
Ms. Forde, also a registered Democrat, cast her vote for Mr. Williams.
"The mayor has made some mistakes, but I would like to think that he has learned from them. And, if given another opportunity, will do better," she said.
Staff writer Denise Barnes contributed to this report.

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