- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Some D.C. Republicans sensing vulnerability on the Democratic ticket have begun to reconsider their party's lack of representation in the 2002 mayoral race.
"I've received about a half-dozen phone calls throughout the summer from individuals in the Republican Party in the District of Columbia who for whatever reason have decided that they should be a candidate," says Betsy W. Werronen, the District's Republican Party chairman.
Mayor Anthony A. Williams' problems he is seeking the Democratic Party nod as a write-in candidate after being kicked off the Sept. 10 primary ballot for submitting falsified petitions have fueled the political hopes of the four candidates whose names are on the ballot. The incumbent also faces an aggressive last-minute challenge from Anacostia's Rev. Willie F. Wilson, who, like the mayor, is running a write-in campaign.
Now the District's Republicans also are taking another look at taking on the mayor or whoever emerges from the primary.
Mrs. Werronen said she and other party leaders "are urging our members to spread the word and write in Carol Schwartz" on the Sept. 10 Republican primary ballot.
Mrs. Schwartz, one of two Republicans holding a seat on the D.C. Council, says she is doing nothing to organize a write-in campaign, although many supporters have told her that they intend to write her name on the ballot next week.
"I'm not seeking any of this; I'm just telling you what people have told me," said Mrs. Schwartz, who heads the council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment and has run unsuccessfully for mayor three times since 1984.
"Obviously, it's a job that I've wanted in the past, but I found that a three-time loss was hurtful and certainly not encouraging," she said.
With no Republican candidates' names listed on the primary ballot, the person who receives the most write-in votes on Sept. 10 will win the Republican primary and will be given three days to register as a candidate for the November ballot, according to D.C. election law.
Asked whether she would accept the nomination should she receive the most write-in votes, Mrs. Schwartz said: "I'll make that decision when the time comes."
Sources within city government say Mrs. Schwartz would be a difficult obstacle for Mr. Williams to overcome should the mayor's own write-in campaign win him the Democratic nomination. One source said Mr. Williams has spent the bulk of his time, energy and campaign money on the write-in effort without considering that a legitimate Republican challenger could surface in the weeks after the primary.
"If [Mrs. Schwartz] wins, you're going to have a real fight on your hands," Mrs. Werronen said. "Everything Carol is, Tony Williams is not. She's homegrown, she's lived here for her whole adult life, she's raised her children here and they've gone to public schools here, she's active in charity here and she's been active in civic affairs and D.C. local government all of her life.
"This race is really wide-open," Mrs. Werronen said.
Among the District's less-known Republicans said to be mounting "word-of-mouth" write-in campaigns is 31-year old Georgetown resident and television producer Griff Jenkins.
"It's appalling that there's not one single name on the Republican ballot for the primary," Mr. Jenkins said. "There's a whole handful of guys like me, young professional Republicans that live here in the District and we have no voice in the debate.
"My goal is to create a groundswell for a Republican challenger to get in this race," he said. "I don't want the election to be handed to the Democrats on a plate."
David Catania, the other Republican on the D.C. Council, said he hasn't given any consideration to mounting a write-in campaign because he is "focused on my re-election bid completely and would not be interested in seeking the nomination for mayor."
Mr. Catania hopes to retain his seat as at-large Republican on the council. He said he fully intends to write in someone else's name on the Republican ballot for mayor, although he declined to say who.
Asked whether he would accept the nomination if he receives more write-in votes than any other Republican, Mr. Catania said: "I've got my own election to run [for the D.C. Council] and I'm going to focus on that."
Meanwhile yesterday, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Williams continued to campaign hard. Mr. Wilson appeared in a live interview on public-access television in the morning before staging "meet and greet" public appearances in two Northeast neighborhoods. Mr. Williams unleashed an arsenal of radio and television ads reported by The Washington Post to be costing his campaign $225,000.
Mr. Williams, who also has engaged in a mass mailing of sleek campaign pamphlets, appeared at several staged rallies across Northwest, dropped by a block party in Ward 5 and shook hands with voters during "informal stop-bys" along Minnesota and Pennsylvania Avenues in Southeast.
Former D.C. Council member Douglas Moore, whose name will appear on the Democratic ballot, spent the bulk of his day feasting on seafood with supporters at an annual crab-eating outing to Baltimore with his church, said members of his campaign staff.

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