LL got Republican at-large nominee Patrick Mara on the phone for comment on vanquished incumbent Carol Schwartz‘s decision to wage a write-in campaign.

“In all honesty,” he says, “I welcome any and all challengers in the general election.”

Schwartz’s decision seems in no small part to be motivated by spite toward Mara, who she lambasted today for “extremely nasty, dishonest and unfair efforts to undermine my record.”

Mara defended his message and campaign materials: “The key component of the primary that she is overlooking is that I got out and visited 8,000, 9,000 voters, spoke with thousands of voters on their doorsteps. On election day, 90 percent of the voters who I met at the polls I already knew. My mailers were comparison mailers; they stated how she voted and what she has done. Those mailers did offer stark contrast between myself and Mrs. Schwartz.”

So does a Schwartz write-in push help or hurt Mara? He says neither: “You know, I think it’s a pretty neutral move.”

LL also asked about Schwartz’ contention in a speech today that Mara “targeted and registered…College Republicans from schools throughout the city”—-as many as 750 of them.

Says Mara, “That would be amazing if we did. We picked up volunteers from area schools, [but] most college students don’t want to give up their home-state voter registration. Believe me, I asked plenty of College Republicans to re-register. They have high hopes of returning to their state and running for office themselves.” At most, Mara says, he got 15 students to register in D.C., out of a total of about 100 residents he registered.