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Ward 6 Councilmember Harold Brazil may lead in fund-raising in D.C.’s at-large council race—that’s his forte. What he hasn’t managed is a persuasive rationale for his candidacy. After all, Brazil’s current Ward 6 council term does not expire until 1998, when he could run for yet another four-year term. I suggest, however, voters cannot change city government by merely moving current councilmembers from one seat to another.

Brazil admits that he sees this race as only “one step” (Washington Post, 8/27) on the way to a 1998 race for mayor. Even that does not tell the whole story. Brazil doesn’t need an at-large council seat to run for mayor; he could run when his current Ward 6 term expires.

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True, for Brazil to run for mayor from Ward 6, he would have to give up a position on the council and his $80,000 part-time council salary. Then losing the mayoral race would leave Brazil without his good government job and he would have to make do on the income from his law practice. Keeping a government job may provide Brazil with a reason to run for an at-large seat; it hardly provides D.C. voters with a reason to support him.

Moreover, for Brazil to win the at-large seat will cost the city beaucoup bucks, during a time of fiscal crisis, for a special election to replace Brazil and provide real representation for Ward 6. Taxpayers would wind up subsidizing Brazil’s quest for job security. Brazil’s ambition should come at his own risk and not at taxpayer’s expense.

Real change in city government can only come from new leaders with a focus on our city’s problems rather than personal ambition. That’s why I support John Capozzi for the Democrats’ nomination for an at-large council seat. Capozzi has shown an unmatched commitment to the interests of city residents. He

has worked to adequately fund education, to clean up our environment, to strengthen community policing, and to tap the

vast wealth of numerous tax-exempt institutions—like Fannie Mae—that pay nothing to help the city financially.

John Capozzi will ensure real positive change amongst councilmembers. That’s a rationale for his candidacy Brazil doesn’t have.

Lincoln Park