- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2005

An Internet-based effort to draft D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams for a third term has received a “few hundred” letters of support, an organizer said.

“The response has been good,” said lobbyist Tracy Hammond, 29, who is in charge of Web-based organizing for www.runtonyrun.com. “We have received more than 13,000 hits in less than a month.”

Mr. Hammond and two others created the site last month.

Mr. Williams, a Democrat, has not said whether he will seek a third term next year.

D.C. Council members Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat; Vincent B. Orange Sr., Ward 5 Democrat; and former Verizon Chief Executive Officer Marie Johns have formally announced their candidacies.

On Tuesday, council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, at-large Democrat, said she will file mayoral campaign papers next week, posing a formidable challenge to the two-term incumbent.

“It doesn’t really change anything,” Mr. Hammond said of Mrs. Cropp’s challenge. “We are going to keep the Web site up, and we are going to continue to give the opportunity to people to express their enthusiasm for Mr. Williams.”

An open letter on the site reads: “If you agree that Mayor Williams has done a good job and would like to see him continue to take D.C. down a path of success, creating economic opportunities for small businesses, improving city services and bettering District residents’ quality of life, we urge you to let the Mayor know that you want him on the ballot in 2006.”

Mr. Hammond moved from Missouri to the District more than five years ago and is registering himself to vote in city elections. He said Mr. Williams has done a lot of good for the District.

“Obviously, his record speaks for itself,” Mr. Hammond said. “He helped bring baseball into D.C., crime is down, fiscal responsibility is up, the budget is balanced and look at all the investment in communities that he has helped spearhead.”

Mr. Hammond said starting a grass-roots effort on the Web was the best option for his group because of the “relatively low cost.”

“We want new people to get involved,” he said. “If they support the mayor, now is the time to show their support.”


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