There are now officially three people running for DC mayor, with the latest entry being Ward 2 council member Jack Evans, who announced his candidacy over the weekend. Council members Muriel Bowser and Tommy Wells announced earlier. All three are Democrats and will face an April 2014 primary, which in Democrat-heavy DC generally determines the winner. The general election is November 4. While there are other potential candidates, including at-large council member David Catania, an Independent, the politician whose decision is most anticipated is current mayor Vincent Gray. So far in interviews he has remained mum on whether he will run and when he will let the city know his decision. A campaign fraud investigation is still active in the US Attorney’s Office, and he has to find a way around that before he can announce anything.
We contacted Mayor Gray’s director of communications, Pedro Ribeiro, for an update and received this e-mail reply: “He hasn’t made a decision yet; he’s focused on his work to move our city forward.”
The location a candidate chooses to throw his of her hat into the ring means a lot in politics. Evans chose fashionable Logan Circle, outside the new Le Diplomate French bistro at the corner of 14th and Q streets, Northwest. “The vibrancy brought to this neighborhood is something I believe we can do everywhere in this city,” he said, citing the transformation of 14th Street as an example of his goal to “transform the District of Columbia into one of the most desirable cities in the world.”
Wells, who represents Ward 6, chose the corner of Bladensburg Road and H Street, Northeast, another emerging neighborhood. Ward 4’s Bowser, on the other hand, chose the home where she grew up in North Michigan Park, to emphasize her long ties to DC.
We stopped by for Evans’s announcement. In this video clip, see his promises regarding an ethics policy, which will be a recurring theme for all candidates in the race.
In addition to ethics and hitting on other familiar DC issues such as fiscal responsibility, education, and health care, Evans made several points that spoke to diversity, growth, and transformation:
- “My vision for the city . . . is a vision for how we preserve [the] foundation as we transform our city into a model of what urban living can and should be.”
- “As the leader of this city, I will preserve the important history and role of African-Americans.”
- “I see a growing diversity—Latinos, Asians, Ethiopians—and many other residents who bring culture and traditions to our city. Their contributions are valuable and needed. I will make sure that all—all—of their voices are heard.”
- “I want to make sure that everyone in this city has a reasonable path to success. We will institute a school-to-career pathway that focuses appropriate attention on the industries vital to the economy of the District . . . and [prepares] all of our citizens for the requirements of today’s job market.”
- “It’s very important, too, that we recognize and encourage the growth of Washington DC as a cosmopolitan, world class city, always on the vanguard of ideas and positive transformation.”
- “We will continue to support our small business. They are the backbone of our city, providing jobs, services, a sense of community, and neighborhood identity.”
- “I see new residents, young and old, adding vibrancy to our neighborhoods and who have introduced us to urban living features, things such as bike lanes and car-sharing programs.”
- “A cohesive strategy to achieve statehood for the District of Columbia.”
This is Evans’s second time running for mayor.