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Marion Barry endorsement season continues, coming close enough to the election that the Ward 8 councilmember can gauge who’s probably going to win anyway. Today’s frontrunner endorsement has Barry backing Karl Racine for attorney general.

In a release, available in full below, Barry praises Racine as a candidate who understands how criminal justice disparities affect African-American men. An endorsement press conference planned for today was cancelled, reportedly after organizers decided that reporters would be too busy at a D.C. Council hearing on marijuana legalization.

Leading his rivals by nearly double digits, Racine probably doesn’t need Barry’s help. (Councilmembers Kenyan McDuffie and Jack Evans have also endorsed him.) But the Ward 8 councilmember’s endorsement should help him soften up support for rival Edward “Smitty” Smith, who polls strongest in the ward where he grew up.

Barry’s endorsement press release:

Washington, D.C.–On Thursday, October 30, 2014, former four-term D.C. Mayor and current Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry will announce his endorsement of Karl Racine for Attorney General of the District of Columbia.
“On November 4th, voters in the District of Columbia have a unique opportunity to elect our first Attorney General.

“There are five outstanding candidates. Unfortunately, we can only vote for one. After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that Karl Racine is up for the task.

“Karl brings a wealth of experience to this role. The Office of the Attorney General serves at the District of Columbia government’s law firm. The Attorney General will be responsible for government ethics and transparency, economic development, neighborhood and community services, and misdemeanors–which ultimately affects many Black men. The fate of our young, Black men is very important to me. Racial disparities in our justice system continue to be a problem. According to reports, one in three Black men will be incarcerated in his lifetime, which is why there is a dire need for an Attorney General who understands the inequality and will work diligently with political leaders and the community to identify solutions to put an end to racial bias, specifically as it relates to young Black men.

“Karl served as the Associate White House Counsel under President Clinton. He assisted in the selection of judges to the D.C. Superior Court. He’s had over 20 years of experience as a litigator and a public servant. His superior expertise and leadership skills catapulted him to the top at Venable LLP, where he served as the firm’s Managing Partner. And, like me, he has a heart for the least, the last and the lost, for as a Public Defender, he used his voice to represent children and adults who couldn’t afford an attorney.

“Karl has demonstrated leadership, integrity, experience and compassion. It is with great pleasure that I join the likes of President William Jefferson Clinton, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and others in supporting and endorsing Karl Racine to become the District’s first elected Attorney General.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery