The Washington D.C. Association of REALTORs—yes, they capitalize the term—just announced their endorsement of Council Chairman Vince Gray for Mayor and Councilmember Kwame Brown for Chairman. The organization also backed incumbent Councilmembers Phil Mendelson, David Catania, Tommy Wells, and Harry Thomas.
The release reads: “WDCAR PAC endorsed after face-to-face interviews with candidates, a review of candidate’s answers to questionnaires, and extensive discussions of issues, including the District budget, education reform, vacant property, real estate taxes, and the Real Estate Guaranty Fund, among others.”
Looking at the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORs’ stances on issues, it seems possible that WDCAR may have taken exception to the Fenty administration’s imposition of “nuisance” fees, especially the administration-backed new class of vacant property tax legislation. The industry group also opposes rent control, which both mayoral candidates support (though since the city’s biggest rent control advocate, the Tenants Advocacy Coalition, also endorsed Gray, that may not have been the dealbreaker for WDCAR).
The only omission from WDCAR’s slate in a competitive race is at-large Councilmember Michael Brown, who talks a lot about preserving affordable housing and not letting newcomers displace long-term residents. Newcomers, of course, are usually the ones buying houses.