- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2005

D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp yesterday officially kicked off her run for mayor next year, saying she will aim “to bring fairness to government.”

“Too many of us are still left out of the economic growth,” she told more than 200 supporters outside the Reeves Center in Northwest. “[I will] spread opportunity to women, minorities, local small disadvantaged businesses and the most needy.”

“I want to make sure that the development taking place here and elsewhere around the city includes absolutely everyone,” the at-large Democrat said after filing paperwork to officially start her campaign.

Flanked by her family, Mrs. Cropp, 57, said she also would restore schools, make streets and neighborhoods safer, and expand affordable housing and job training.

Mrs. Cropp joins a growing field of Democratic contenders that includes council members Adrian M. Fenty of Ward 4 and Vincent B. Orange Sr. of Ward 5, and former Verizon Chief Executive Officer Marie Johns.

Michael A. Brown, son of late Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown, told The Washington Times last month that he will run for mayor and will kick off his campaign this month.

Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a Democrat, has not said whether he will seek a third term. “I’m on my own schedule,” he said yesterday.

Mr. Williams said he has talked to Mrs. Cropp about her candidacy and wished her well “to a degree.”

“I believe if I ran, I would win,” he said.

Mrs. Cropp evoked speculation about her mayoral plans last year, when she opposed proposals for public funding of a baseball stadium in Southeast.

Her insistence on some private funding for the project nearly sank the District’s deal with Major League Baseball to bring the Washington Nationals to town and established her as a champion for average residents.

Before filing paperwork yesterday, Mrs. Cropp walked up U Street to the Reeves Center with about 100 supporters chanting “Cropp! Cropp!”

She stopped along the way to seek support from workers at various businesses, one of whom presented her with a bouquet.

“I am glad to be on her team,” Richard Lee, president of Lee’s Flower and Card Shop Inc., told onlookers. “I am going to be working for her and with her to make sure she gets elected next year.”

Mrs. Cropp’s mayoral run likely will create a contest between Democratic council members Kathy Patterson of Ward 3 and Jack Evans of Ward 2 for the chairmanship.

A former teacher, Mrs. Cropp was elected to the council in 1990. She became acting chairman in April 1997, after the death of David A. Clarke.

She was elected to the job in a special election later that year.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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