Andy Shallal Doesn’t Appreciate Being Told to Quit Mayoral Race

And he is telling us he’s not going.
Andy Shallal Doesn’t Appreciate Being Told to Quit Mayoral Race
Shallal won't let Posties badger him out of the mayoral race. Photograph courtesy Andy Shallal for DC.

In case the 6 percent of likely voters who support him are worried, Busboys and Poets restaurateur Andy Shallal wants everyone to know he is not quitting the DC mayoral race before the April 1 Democratic primary, in spite of demands for him to do so.

Last weekend, Washington Post columnist Colby King asked Shallal, Council member Vincent Orange, and longshot candidates Reta Jo Lewis and Carlos Allen­—all of whom are polling in single digits—to make the eight-way primary a little less crowded. So far, none have heeded King’s call.

While the other three candidates King called out have remained quiet on the column, Shallal appears to have taken it personally, writing in a letter to the Post yesterday that King should “celebrate” the clogged mayoral ballot. “Maybe Mr. King could just tell us his choice and let the rest of us sit this one out,” Shallal jabbed.

Shallal is still thinking about King’s column today, blasting out a fundraising email reminding his supporters that he is in it until the end. (Although to date, much of the Shallal campaign’s war chest has come from the candidate himself, who kicked in $95,000 out of an estimated $12 million fortune through January 31.)

“Rumors always swirl around political campaigns, and commentators get obsessed with the horserace instead helping voters understand the differences between candidates on major issues,” Shallal writes. “So let me say unequivocally that I will remain in this race because my campaign is not just about me or just about winning. It’s about the people who have no voice, the people who experience hardship in the shadows of the construction cranes.”

And perhaps to add to King’s frustration, Shallal closes by writing that voters are going to get a lot more Andy as the primary winds down. Shallal will spend next Tuesday evening giving an online response to Mayor Vince Gray’s annual “State of the District” address, though he can probably count on the longtime Post columnist not tuning in.

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Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.