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Last night, at the Marion Barry birthday/primary watch party in Ward 8, LL spied lobbyist and perennial candidate Michael A. Brown making the rounds, but he was able to slip out before LL could corner him about his rumored candidacy for a D.C. Council seat.

LL caught up with Brown this afternoon, and he confirms that he is indeed now officially exploring a run for the at-large non-Democratic seat currently held by Carol Schwartz. How officially? Well, Brown spent money out of his own pocket to print up cards touting his candidacy, which he passed out last night. Brown says the response to draft efforts for both at-large and Ward 4 seats were strong: “I was pleasantly surprised that people thought it would be a good idea.”

Why run as an independent? After all, the race has already attracted two motivated challengers in Adam Clampitt and Dee Hunter, and, for two, Brown’s been a lifelong democrat, having run for mayor and a Ward 4 council seat as a Dem (not to mention the fact that his father, Ron Brown, was a former chair of the Democratic National Committee.)

Brown says that running against that other Brown doesn’t appeal to him. “I consider [Kwame Brown] a friend,” he says.

The cards distributed last night run down a number of fairly standard campaign pitches: lower crime, “empowering our youth,” more jobs. In an interview today, Brown says he plans to make fiscal responsibility a central theme in his campaign, as well as making sure surplused schools are used appropriately. Brown says he expects to make a final decision on a run within a month.

UPDATE, 3/6: Brown calls back to emphasize that Brown isn’t his only buddy on the Council: “Carol is a friend, as well.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery