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Blame it on the overcast skies, or the middle of the workday timing. Or the location in downtown’s sprawling Freedom Plaza, which didn’t make mayoral hopeful Carol Schwartz‘s campaign kickoff audience look any larger than its roughly 30 supporters.

Still, poor turnout didn’t dampen the former at-large councilmember’s spirit as she opened her fifth run for the mayoralty with some reggae.

“As the legendary Bob Marley sang, ‘Don’t know your past, don’t know your future,'” Schwartz said.

Actually, that’d be less famous Marley family member Ziggy Marley, but the point stands. In her speech, Schwartz promised to combine the record she built up as a four-term councilmember until her exit in 2008 with a host of future mayoral promises, including more ethics watchdogging and a pothole repair fund. (Schwartz jokingly blamed the lackluster crowd on supporters’ cars getting stuck in potholes.)

Schwartz saved part for her speech for “naysayers” who says she’s an artifact from the District’s past, then shot a look at reporters in the audience. She claimed that her fundraising gap against opponents David Catania and Muriel Bowser, whose campaign bank accounts outpaced hers by approximately $400,000 and $950,000 respectively in August, isn’t an issue because she’s somehow “refusing to make it matter.”

After someone in the crowd asked whether Catania supporters should be angry at Schwartz for potentially splitting the vote, Schwartz rephrased the question—-characteristically omitting her rival’s name—-then promised that she’ll take votes wherever she can get them.

“I do want to steal votes from him,” Schwartz said. “I want to steal votes from her!”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery