In shocking-but-not-surprising news (or is it surprising-but-not-shocking news? or is it neither?) upstart Patrick Mara has won the endorsement of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce PAC over incumbent Carol Schwartz in the Republican at-large primary, LL has learned.

And, in news that is definitely neither surprising nor shocking, incumbent Marion Barry won the endorsement in the Ward 8 Democratic primary, meaning Schwartz is the sole incumbent not to get the chamber nod.

Mara already won the endorsement of the city’s other main business group, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and the chamber’s nod solidifies the notion that biz is out to get Schwartz due to her support of mandatory sick leave for District employees.

The sick leave maneuver wasn’t a total political disaster for Schwartz: She’s been rolling in the union endorsements ever since. The real proof of the fallout from the supposed biz-world abandonment will come Aug. 10, when the next round of campaign-finance disclosures are due.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

UPDATE, 3:30 P.M.: Kelvin Robinson, the former chief of staff to Mayor Anthony A. Williams who is now a consultant and chair of the chamber’s political action committee, wouldn’t get into specifics of what led to Mara getting the endorsement, except to say candidates are judged “how they best align with the views and the issues the business community cares about” and “their fresh perspective on the issues of the day.”

As far as what those issues are, Robinson cited “level of taxation…and what can we do to stem the tide of excessive regulation that can stymie economic progress in the city,” in addition to general concerns about crime and education.

Mara cited the chamber and Board of Trade nods as further proof of his “real Republican” bona fides, pointing out, “She’s endorsed by SEIU and the AFL-CIO. That just kind of says how we stand on these issues….That certainly says something to Republican voters.”

Mara says he’s continuing to raise money, with two fundraisers already under his belt this week, with two more scheduled before the filing deadline.