Here’s some highlights from the speech Carol Schwartz delivered this afternoon in front of reporters and supporters at her U Street campaign headquarters:

  • “I am here today, to say, as Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” And, of course you know I’m talking about my political life, and it’s been a pretty long and mostly successful one.”
  • “Last Tuesday, after the nastiest, most unrelentingly negative campaign I’ve ever seen in the District was waged against me by a relatively unknown person, I lost the chance to be on the General Election ballot in November to a candidate who only received 2,234 votes….Granted, I received only 1,483 votes – 751 fewer votes than my opponent. But we also know that he targeted and registered a comparable number of College Republicans from schools throughout the city. And why should these hundreds of students, with no real vested interest in the District of Columbia – rather than the hundreds of thousands of voters who do have a vested interest – decide my fate, the potential fate of our city and the possible fate of workers who need sick leave?”
  • “There has been a huge outpouring of support for me to run as an Independent -which I cannot do – or to run a write-in campaign, which I can do.”
  • “Why should so few voters decide? They should not decide for the rest of us. So I’m answering the calls for a write-in.. .with a resounding yes!”
  • “To be certain, this will not be an easy task. But if all those who have encouraged me to undertake this task join in, we can win in November. And what’s the worst thing that can happen? I can lose again….So, to my past supporters and, hopefully, some new ones – whether they be Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Statehood/Greens or whatever – please grab a pencil. We’ve got a lot of writing in to do.”

Full text is after the jump.

I am here today, to say, as Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” And, of course you know I’m talking about my political life, and it’s been a pretty long and mostly successful one.

When I won my first election to the Council of the District of Columbia in 1984,1 received 53,782 votes. When I won my seat again in 1996 after taking a break following my husband’s death, I received 73,668 votes. When I was re-elected in 2000,1 received 76,173 votes. And, when I was returned to office in 2004,1 received 93,743 votes. Not to mention the couple hundred thousand votes 1 collectively received the four times I ran for Mayor.

Last Tuesday, after the nastiest, most unrelentingly negative campaign I’ve ever seen in the District was waged against me by a relatively unknown person, 1 lost the chance to be on the General Election ballot in November to a candidate who only received 2,234 votes, with only 12.6 percent of Republicans voting. Let me repeat -just 2,234 votes. And if truth be known, probably a half a million dollars was spent on his behalf by special interests, many from outside the District, mainly because of my support for enabling workers to earn some sick leave.

Granted, I received only 1,483 votes – 751 fewer votes than my opponent. But we also know that he targeted and registered a comparable number of College Republicans from schools throughout the city. And why should these hundreds of students, with no real vested interest in the District of Columbia – rather than the hundreds of thousands of voters who do have a vested interest – decide my fate, the potential fate of our city and the possible fate of workers who need sick leave? And should such a low, mean-spirited and untruthful campaign be allowed to set a precedent for victory here in DC?

I don’t think I can let that happen – not without putting up a fight.

There has been a huge outpouring of support for me to run as an Independent -which I cannot do – or to run a write-in campaign, which I can do.

I have been so deeply touched by the many, many warm and heartfelt phone calls, e-mails and letters I’ve received since last Tuesday. They have urged me, even pleaded with me – given that less than eight percent of registered Republicans voted for him – to not let so few primary voters decide the final outcome of this election.

This argument resonates with me – it’s the way I and my family now feel as well. Why should so few voters decide? They should not decide for the rest of us. So I’m answering the calls for a write-in.. .with a resounding yes!

The idea of running a write-in campaign was not one I initially embraced. I am a Republican – a fact that anyone who has ever voted for me knows – and I will continue to be. And to be honest with you, the idea of going forward with a write-in campaign and actually running against a candidate who is now being supported by many on the DC Republican Committee, which bravely and unanimously endorsed me in the primary, is a difficult thing to do. Working opposite those who did so much, so recently, for me is something I do not take lightly. But I also do not take lightly my primary opponent’s extremely nasty, dishonest and unfair efforts to undermine my record – a record of which I am justifiably proud. Make no mistake, his tactics played a role in this decision to fight on – a risk he willingly took.

But the main reason I am pressing on is to have the opportunity to continue to work for the residents of the city I love so much. If DC’s voters choose to keep me on the Council, I will strive as I always have, to make our great city the even greater city we all know it can – and should – be.

To be certain, this will not be an easy task. But if all those who have encouraged me to undertake this task join in, we can win in November. And what’s the worst thing that can happen? I can lose again.

I will run hard and fight hard – hard and fair. So, to my past supporters and, hopefully, some new ones – whether they be Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Statehood/Greens or whatever – please grab a pencil. We’ve got a lot of writing in to do.

Thank you.

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