- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2008


In national politics, Republican vs. Democrat has been the primary line of division. Not so in the nation’s capital, where candidates of all stripes and no stripes have come to be known for their liberalism. Indeed, since the District won voting rights in the 1960s, liberalism has been its root and chaff.

In the two at-large races in tomorrow’s primaries, D.C. Council members Carol Schwartz and Kwame Brown are up for re-election. While Mr. Brown, a Democrat, faces no opponent, Mrs. Schwartz, a Republican, squares off with newcomer Patrick Mara. Mrs. Schwartz is no dyed-in-the-wool Republican or conservative. Her brand of progressism fits neatly in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Despite her wide popularity, Mrs. Schwartz does take the occasional step to the right.

Another incumbent, Jack Evans, proves his mettle on behalf of his Ward 2 constituents, who deliver to him every four years considerable margins of victory. His primary opponent is Cary Silverman. A vote for Mr. Silverman means Ward 2, which stretches from Burleith and Georgetown thru center city to Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom, would lose its clout. That is a consequence the capital cannot afford as it continues to rebuild itself amid national economic uncertainties. If Washington’s commercial and business influence wanes, the quality of life for all D.C. residents will suffer the consequences. Mr. Brown, who like Mrs. Schwartz holds a citywide seat, traverses every political ward and has balanced the interests of businesses large and small with the understanding that one cannot survive without the other.

With the District’s future inextricably linked to all things national, this primary is not the time to lean toward change for change’s sake.

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