It’s been getting lonely in the John A. Wilson Building for At-Large Councilmember Carol Schwartz. Colleagues Vincent C. Gray, Harry Thomas Jr., and (reportedly) Marion Barry have broken with council tradition to endorse Michael A. Brown‘s challenge, rather than Schwartz’s write-in bid.

But there’s still a couple of colleagues Schwartz can count on.

One is fellow at-larger Phil Mendelson, who yesterday told LL that he has “no hesitation” in supporting Schwartz. “I always support my colleagues,” he says.

Schwartz is free, he says, to drop his name in campaign literature or in other ways, and he’ll be informing voters of his preference as he visits polling places on Election Day. LL asked if he’d wear a yellow shirt in the process. “I dunno what I’m gonna wear,” he said.

The other is Ward 4’s Muriel Bowser, who sent an e-mail to supporters last night talking up Schwartz’s support for sick leave and other issues.

“While I haven’t agreed with every one of Carol’s positions in the last 16 months, I have observed her sharp mind, her strong will and her willingness to speak up for the people,” she wrote in the message, printed in full at the end of this post.

In an interview, Bowser said that Schwartz “is honestly the best person for the job. She’s honest, tough, balanced, and more than anything she demonstrated a will to put the interests of the District of Columbia before her own.”

So what about the remainder of the council?

David A. Catania‘s supporting Patrick Mara. The rest are sitting it out.

That goes for Ward 2’s Jack Evans (“Not supporting anybody,” he says. “Supporting myself.”), Ward 3’s Mary Cheh (who makes the good excuse that she’s heading a special committee on elections), Ward 6’s Tommy Wells (“I need to stay neutral in this. Some of the political mischief is trying align Chairman Gray against Mayor Fenty, and I don’t want to be anywhere near that”), and Ward 7’s Yvette Alexander. The only at-large candidate Kwame Brown will support is Kwame Brown.

An odd case is Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, who sent out literature endorsing Schwartz to Ward 1 Republicans during the primary race and was present on primary night at Schwartz HQ. He says he’s made no official endorsement of Schwartz for the general election. “Not yet, though we’re discussing it,” he says. What’s to discuss? “We’re just discussing it,” he says. “Don’t you discuss things?”

Always a negotiation with that guy!

Bowser’s statement:

Why I support Carol Schwartz

I am very concerned that one woman may be knocked off the Council of the District of Columbia because of her support of working people, especially women. Carol Schwartz, like me, and a majority of the Council believed that DC workers should be able to earn sick leave. Mrs. Schwartz paid the political price in her primary, despite her long record of both supporting a thriving business environment and being strong voice of the people. I would be disappointed if Democrats followed suit.

While I haven’t agreed with every one of Carol’s positions in the last 16 months, I have observed her sharp mind, her strong will and her willingness to speak up for the people of the District of Columbia ahead of personal interests. She has stood tall for this Councilmember and the residents of Ward 4 as well. When I fought to stay on a powerful committee, Carol Schwartz stood with me to preserve Ward 4’s voice. I later thanked her for her support. She said, “it was just the right thing to do.” When I fought to open up a vital roadway affecting thousands of Ward 4 residents, knowing that she was in the minority and would go down with a sinking ship, Carol Schwartz spoke up for us anyway. She did so because she knew it was the right thing to do.

As we are only a few days away from an election and we know write- in campaigns are tough, it’s my turn to stand up for Carol Schwartz. While it may be uncomfortable to disagree with colleagues and disappoint my friends also in the running, I join with thousands of DC residents who encouraged Carol to wage this write-in campaign and greet her with mighty applause across the City. Carol is honest, tough, balanced and she has demonstrated that she will always put the interests of the District of Columbia before her own. We must demand the same of anyone who wants our vote.

I don’t know what the outcome of Tuesday’s at-large race will be, every indicator shows that Carol is running strong, but I know Carol can’t win if we don’t stand up and support her. On November 4, I will stand up for this woman as she has stood up for us. In addition to connecting the arrow for Kwame Brown, I will be writing in and connecting the arrow for Carol Schwartz for At-Large Member of the Council. It’s the right thing to do.

Muriel Bowser
Ward 4 Democrat