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New mayoral candidate Carol Schwartz left her trademark bright yellow Pontiac Firebird at home as she picked up her nominating petitions this morning. It’s not that she doesn’t like the car anymore—-it gets attention, and its convertible top projects the image that she’s not afraid to go anywhere in the city. It just didn’t seem appropriate for the occasion.

“I want to look more mayoral,” Schwartz said.

Instead, Schwartz arrived in a Jaguar festooned with signs carrying her name. The return tour for Schwartz’s Texas-by-way-of-Rehoboth idiosyncrasies—-destined to last at least until November, maybe longer—-had begun.

In a press conference outside the elections board’s Judiciary Square offices, the former at-large councilmember was honest about why she had come out of her six-year involuntary retirement.

“I’m doing it because I want to be mayor,” Schwartz said.

Before heading to Ward 8 to collect signatures, Schwartz said that she looks forward to the media getting over questions about whether she entered the race to get revenge on mayoral hopeful David Catania or do a favor for Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser.

“I think you can call me lots of things, but not being my own person is not one of them,” Schwartz says.

Photo by Will Sommer