- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2002

D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz, who has already lost three bids to become mayor of the District, announced her fourth try yesterday.

Mrs. Schwartz stood at a desolate corner in the city's Anacostia section, telling about 50 supporters that Mayor Anthony A. Williams is guilty of "ethical lapses, questionable judgment and a cold lack of compassion" for the city's poorest residents.

D.C. Republican leaders tried to get the party faithful to write in Mrs. Schwartz's name in this month's primary, but they wound up writing in Mr. Williams' name, helping the Democratic incumbent win the race with 700 more votes than Mrs. Schwartz.

Mrs. Schwartz, 58, was soundly defeated by Mr. Williams in 1998 by a margin greater than 2 to 1. This time, she said voters in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River are living examples of what has been wrong with the city since Mr. Williams took office.

"Ask them if their lives have improved, if their schools have improved, and ask them if they have better hospitals and health care than they did four years ago," said Mrs. Schwartz. Many of her supporters gathered in drizzling rain outside a boarded-up thrift shop held signs or wore T-shirts recycled from her previous mayoral bids or council races.

"This is still a deeply troubled and divided city," said Mrs. Schwartz, who would be the city's first elected white or Republican mayor.

After being booted off the ballot for campaign violations, Mr. Williams successfully ran a write-in campaign in the Democratic primary, taking seven of the city's eight wards and fending off a group of mostly unknown challengers. He also won the Republican nomination.

"I don't think the [Republican] voters who voted for me were hypnotized. I don't think they were in a trance. I think they were sending a message they want this city unified at this critical time in our history, with this mayor," Mr. Williams said yesterday.

About 77 percent of the city's registered voters are Democrats, 7 percent are Republicans and the rest belong to minor parties or list no party affiliation. During 26 years of home rule, only Democrats have been elected mayor.

Mr. Williams succeeded former Mayor Marion Barry, whose fourth term followed his 1990 arrest and conviction on a cocaine-possession charge stemming from his videotaped arrest by FBI agents in a Washington hotel room. Mrs. Schwartz lost to Mr. Barry in her first two runs for the city's top elected office.

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