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In “Backyard Barbecue” (7/11), it stated that, “Other than the anomalous appeal of now-deceased D.C. Council chair Dave Clarke, white candidates have not historically
done well citywide” in their electoral pursuits. We are proof to the contrary. In 1974, Betty Ann Kane
was elected at large to the seat on
the school board that Marion Barry had held. She won re-election to that seat in 1975, gaining 56 percent of the vote. She was then elected at large to serve on the council in 1978, and won two more terms in that citywide role.
Carol Schwartz served on the Board of Education between 1974 and 1982 as a ward representative. In 1984, she ran successfully for an at-large seat on the council. In her first mayoral bid in 1986, she gained 33 percent of the vote. In 1994, her
run for mayor yielded her 42 percent of the vote. She was subsequently
re-elected to her previous at-large seat on the council in 1996, in a
race where she received over 70,000 votes citywide.
It has been our experience that voters tend to look at the individual candidate and that candidate’s record and willingness to devote herself to the community’s interests. To suggest that voters in the District of Columbia are incapable of looking beyond the race of an individual dishonors and underestimates each and every District citizen.
Betty Ann Kane
Former Councilmember, At-Large