Rumors began circulating at the end of May that the DC Republican Party had vetted a mayoral candidate, a well known small l libertarian who is a Justice Department attorney and GOP State Central Committee member who is a friend of Libertarian Party mayoral candidate Bruce Majors. For some reason he has decided not to announce his candidacy until the end of June.
But before he could do so, the field became more crowded, with former Republican city council member Carol Schwartz announcing on June 9 that she will run as an independent. (Ms. Schwartz is also a friend/acquaintance of Mr. Majors, who has supported her in previous races and attended her annual Christmas/Holiday party.). That means the mayoral race now has a Libertarian (Bruce Majors), a Green (“Faith”), a Democrat (Muriel Bowser), an unannounced Republican (supposedly Kris Hammond), an independent who was a Republican (David Catania), and another independent who was a Republican (Carol Schwartz).
Ms. Schwartz is identifying herself as a libertarian-lite without using that term, a “socially liberal fiscal hawk” as one reporter described her this week, though some have questioned her bona fides when in office as a fiscal hawk. Update: on June 11 on WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall show she came out for gun control and using more DC taxpayer money to absorb and house homeless people from the DelMarVa region, much like Catania and Bowser. She left DC politics in part because small l libertarianish Republican Patrick Mara fractured her support among independents and the gay community, when he came out for gay marriage in an earlier city council race where Ms. Schwartz did not support gay marriage but instead only supported civil unions. Ms. Schwartz may well have more personality than Bowser or Catania, as well as deeper DC political roots, though many new voters who have moved to the city since 2008, when she was last in office, may be unaware of her.
Mr. Majors, 55, who is also recruiting some of the other Libertarian candidates and assisting with or managing their campaigns, quipped “At least I am no longer the oldest candidate.” Libertarians are seeking to build a new party in DC, so voters will not be dependent on the incumbents of one or two parties who had for decades turned a blind eye to the corruption of their colleagues, or to newly independent politicians from the incumbent parties.