Last night, lawyer and neighborhood activist Cary Silverman kicked off his campaign to unseat four-plus-term Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.

At the HR-57 jazz club on 14th Street NW, Silverman told about 50 supporters, “I think we need a change of priorities in Ward 2.” His campaign slogan: “Neighborhoods first.”

In a press release this morning, Silverman claimed more than 100 supporters showed up in all. He’ll need a some more: Evans’ campaign reported about $135,000 in the bank as of July 31; it’s already spent some of it doing polling earlier this fall.

Silverman hammered on some of Evans’ perceived vulnerabilities—-mainly the perception he’s too focused on citywide financial and development issues to the neglect of his home ward. In his comments, Silverman mentioned the long-shuttered Watha T. Daniel Neighborhood Library in Shaw and took a shot at one of Evans’ pet projects in the process: “Seven years for a library, three years for a baseball stadium—-that’s not neighborhoods first,” he said.

He went on (and on) to recite a laundry list of concerns, including crime, vacant property, support for small businesses, and a “culture of corruption” in D.C. Before and after the speech, attendees enjoyed free beer and wine and a spread of veggie samosas, feta pinwheels, and beef empanadas.

Silverman’s base, such as it is, is in the gentrifying eastern half of the ward. He’s a past president of the Logan Circle Community Association and is currently president of the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association. Like Evans, a lawyer for Patton Boggs, Silverman makes his living as an attorney, for the Kansas City-based firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. But in another dig at Evans, Silverman’s promising to give up his high-power legal gig.

A slick Silverman campaign sign on display at the party referred to the candidate (boldface his) as a “successful lawyer at a top law firm who will commit himself to serving communities—-full time.”

Also likely to enter the race is Rob Halligan, president of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association. Halligan says he’s “probably still running, just thought it was still a little early to declare.”

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