City Paper is not for tourists
Those of you searching for a candidate chomping at the bit to take on Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and his $2 million-plus war chest, look out: An honest-to-God 2010 mayoral challenger has made his first nibble.
Well, his dad has, anyway.
Marshall Brown, the longtime political organizer and father of At-Large Councilmember Kwame R. Brown, sent out an e-mail on Sunday night soliciting support for a mayoral draft campaign aimed at his son.
“Would you lend your name to the Kwame Brown for Mayor Draft Committee,” the short e-mail asks, telling recipients to “send this to your email list.” Two sources consulted by LL also report getting calls from Marshall Brown inquiring whether they might lend support to a Kwame-for-Mayor campaign.
Marshall Brown, reached today, said he was merely passing on the message as a favor to someone he identified as Reggie Robinson.
LL reached Robinson this afternoon; he said he’s part of “a bunch of people” who would support a Kwame Brown run: “I mean, we just began to talk about it, that’s all.” Marshall Brown, he says, sent out some e-mails, and “I sent mine to different other people.”
Robinson, a 69-year-old retiree from the D.C. Department of Employment Services, says he’s been a friend of Marshall Brown for about 40 years and has known Kwame Brown “since he was a youngster.” He’s supporting a mayoral run for the younger Brown because, he says, “I think he’s qualified for the job.”
As for the current mayor, he says, “I’m just totally dissatisfied with him, period—-his attitude, everything about him.”
Told about the messages his father had sent out, Kwame Brown seemed incredulous. “What?” he exclaimed. “You don’t have no e-mail that says that!”
LL informed Brown that he indeed did: “No, it’s impossible!”
Brown said he knows “three or four Reggie Robinsons,” and thus had no idea who might have been responsible for the creation of the pitch.
LL expressed to him some incredulity that his dad would send out such a message without his knowledge. “I haven’t spoken to my dad in about two weeks,” he says. “I’m just as shocked as you were if you got an e-mail like that.”
Pressed on his electoral intentions, he said, “I have no interest as I’ve mentioned a hundred time. I dunno how many times I’ve said it….I’m flattered that people think I’ve done good work, but right now, I’m concentrated on being an at-large councilmember and a father and that’s it.”
LL pressed him for an absolute no-2010-run pledge. He didn’t get one. “At this moment, I’m not running for mayor,” he says. “I’m continuing to focus on education, getting job training for people, and being a great at-large councilmember for the District of Columbia.”
Marshall Brown, as it happens, took virtually no visible role in his son’s take-no-prisoners re-election campaign last year. The elder Brown, however, has deep city political ties that served his son well in his insurgent run against Harold Brazil in 2004. Less successful was his stint as Linda Cropp‘s field organizer in 2006. Most recently, he was paid handsomely for running Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss re-election campaign last year.
As for his dad’s antics, Kwame Brown says, “Fathers always have aspirations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery