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With his New Jersey bray and Telly Savalas-esque face, attorney Paul Zukerberg makes an unlikely prospect to be the people’s champ of D.C. politics. Still, Zukerberg came out of nowhere in 2013 to take a central role on two issues: the decriminalization of marijuana and the D.C. Council-mandated delay of the city’s first attorney general election.
The little-known Zukerberg focused his campaign in April’s at-large D.C. Council special election nearly entirely on pot decriminalization. He lost, with just 2 percent of the vote. But he also won. After Zukerberg’s campaign disappeared, Ward 6 Councilmember and mayoral hopeful Tommy Wells introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana. The legislation, backed by a majority of councilmembers and Mayor Vince Gray, seems destined to become law.
If Zukerberg will have the whole District sparking up soon, though, his latest campaign seems less likely to succeed. His lawsuit to stop a Council-mandated four-year delay of the attorney general election voters approved in 2010 has changed courts twice, lost an initial injunction bid to keep the election on the ballot, and even seen Zukerberg enter himself as a candidate, possibly as an attempt at improving his legal standing.
As usual, though, Zukerberg hasn’t let long odds dissuade him. When the Office of Campaign Finance briefly told him to stop raising campaign funds for the nearly nonexistent race, Zukerberg promised to keep doing it anyway.