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Republican campaigns for D.C. Council seats hardly ever go well, but here’s something that’s dismal even by their standards. Nine months before the election, GOP at-large hopeful Dave Oberting is dropping out of the race.
“I just didn’t get the traction that’s required to run a competitive race and that’s solely my responsibility,” Oberting said in a statement released this afternoon.
By announcing his run as a Republican last August, Oberting set himself up to compete with incumbent Councilmember David Grosso for the at-large seat reserved for non-Democrats. But Oberting’s fundraising lagged way behind Grosso, raising a little more than $15,000 as of Jan. 31 compared to Grosso’s haul of nearly $100,000.
Oberting’s campaign was also beset by a bizarre, entertaining spat between his college sophomore campaign manager and the rest of the D.C. GOP brass. At one point, the campaign manager claimed that Oberting was going to split from the party and run as an independent.
See Oberting’s full announcement below:
“It is with regret that I announce I am withdrawing from the race for an at-large DC council seat. I just didn’t get the traction that’s required to run a competitive race and that’s solely my responsibility. Having the chance to run for political office, the foundation of our democracy, has been one of the great honors of my life.
I want to thank everyone who supported my campaign, either through your generous donations or the donation of your time and energy. I want to thank a great campaign team which was powered primarily by volunteers.
I also want to thank the DC Republican Party. I decided to run as a Republican late in the process and was a complete unknown to most members of the party. Starting with Jose Cunningham and Pat Mara, they all accepted me and supported me pretty much sight unseen. Every member of the party I’ve met over the past six months has been fundamentally decent and cares deeply about the future of the District.
I am withdrawing from the race, but not from DC affairs. I will continue to push for increasing educational, economic and job opportunities for DC residents at Economic Growth DC and the Foundation.”
Photo courtesy Dave Oberting