City Paper is not for tourists
You can add one more voter to the list of people annoyed with Ward 7 council candidate Victor Vandell‘s embrace of the Adrian Fenty colors, game plan, and campaign team.
This time it’s Vandell’s campaign chairman. Jerome Brocks—-who has been with Vandell since the beginning of his quest for the Ward 7 seat—-has resigned his post, because he says the Fenty mayoral team that Vandell was once part of is now in charge.
“I started the campaign,” says Brocks, “and now they have people from Ward 4 running it.”
Well, maybe not actual Ward 4 residents, but certainly the Fenty faithful. In particular, Brocks is disturbed by the intimate involvement of former paid Fenty campaign workers Sinclair Skinner and LaMont Harrell. “The idea that people from outside the ward are in charge of this does not sit well with me,” he says.
Brock made his resignation official in a letter to Vandell.
The resignation is a strange twist for Brocks. For several months, he’s been fending off charges that Vandell isn’t really from the ward. The candidate moved from Ward 6 into Deanwood about two years ago. His newcomer status was highlighted by Gray during his endorsement speech for Vandell’s rival, Yvette Alexander.
Vandell has mostly praise for Brocks. “He’s been one of the foremost strategic people responsible for moving our campaign from ground zero to being a front-running campaign. But he’s also very emotional, sometimes maybe a little overly emotional,” says Vandell, who doesn’t rule out a reunion with Brocks. “There will always be a place for him on this campaign.”
Vandell dismisses Brocks’ claim that “outsiders” dominate his team. “That is absolutely not true,” says the candidate. “There are tons of Ward 7 people involved in my campaign.”
ADDENDUM, 12:26 P.M.: Brocks’ resignation letter is attached after the jump.
March 5, 2007[…]
I joined the campaign to elect you for the vacant Ward 7 City Council seat long before an exploratory committee was ever formed. We talked and we talked some more and you assured me that you understood my commitment to Ward 7 because you said that you had the same commitment. With that assurance from you, I promised that we, to the very best of our ability, would make a concerted effort to win the race by committing to serve the best interests of the people of Ward 7. My involvement in the race stemmed from a clear, very definitive commitment and dedication first to the people of Ward 7 and then to you the candidate because of what I felt you represented. There was never a question as to why I was joining the campaign as Campaign Manager.
I am announcing my resignation effective immediately, because the campaign has within the past 2 weeks taken on a direction very different from what had been envisioned and from what has been implemented over the last 5 months. Ward 7 is the ward that I have lived in my entire life and my commitment to Ward 7 is unshakeable. I believe that the good people of Ward 7 are capable of sound leadership and direction. While we embrace input and assistance from many avenues, we maintain that the core and leadership of any ward’s campaign efforts should grow out of bona fide residents from that ward.
I know people all over this city and have fostered long-standing, good business, professional and personal relationships. I believe that to have a Ward 7 campaign run by individuals who are not Ward 7 residents is not something acceptable to me and my commitment to Ward 7. To come into our ward to help is embraced, because we are all community, but to come into our ward with other motives is not something I can support with integrity. I came into the campaign as your campaign manager, a life long Ward 7 resident with various campaigns under my belt. To support Ward 4 residents now running the campaign presents itself to me as not representing Ward 7 with the kind of integrity and truth it deserves. Therefore, I leave the campaign and say to you and all of those who have put in such great effort and to those who followed me into the campaign, God speed.
Jerome Brocks Former Campaign Manager to Elect Victor Vandell