- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2006

The two D.C. mayoral candidates running against Democratic primary winner Adrian M. Fenty in the November election yesterday laid out disparate strategies for an upset victory.

Chris R. Otten, the Statehood Green Party candidate, said he will work with Democrats to defeat the Republican candidate.

“The goal is to work together, the goal is to highlight the most important issues,” said Mr. Otten, 31, a freelance Web designer. “We share a lot of the same values as the Democratic Party. … We won’t be running any attack ads against Mr. Fenty.”

Mr. Otten also is promoting more environmental protection and opportunities for small businesses and giving more authority to the city’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. He said the party also supports statehood for the District.

Because almost 74 percent of the District’s 388,000 registered voters are Democrat, those who win a Democratic primary typically win the general election. About 17 percent of the remaining registered voters are independents, 8 percent are Republican and slightly more that 1 percent are Statehood Green Party members, according to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

David W. Kranich, the Republican candidate, said he will continue to tell voters that if elected he will attempt to reduce taxes and work with developers to create more affordable housing.

However, he acknowledges a Republican victory in the Nov. 7 election would be a huge upset.

“I know that it is going to be very, very, very difficult,” said Mr. Kranich, 34, a residential real estate agent.

Mr. Kranich also wants to give the mayor control to appoint all the members of the school board while fixing schools with money already earmarked for such projects.

Mr. Otten wants all of the school board seats to be elected positions and wants to provide more basic school supplies while eliminating inefficiencies within the system.

Right now, some of the school board seats are elected positions, while others are appointed by the mayor.

Mr. Kranich also wants full voting rights for the District in the Senate, then statehood status.

“I am somebody who has worked really hard on this campaign,” Mr. Kranich said. “I have credibility. … I have the ability and the desire to follow through.”

In the primary Tuesday, about 8 percent of registered Republicans voted and about 10 percent of registered Statehood Green Party members voted.

This is Mr. Kranich and Mr. Otten’s first run for public office.

Mr. Kranich said he and staffers are working on fundraising and campaign events. Mr. Otten said he has a campaign-strategy meeting scheduled for Sunday and is planning several other events. However, neither of their campaign Web sites show events between now and October.



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