D.C. Council at-large race to narrow Wednesday

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Local,DC,Eric P. Newcomer,D.C. Council

If everyone makes the ballot who says they're going to, it's going to be one crowded special election.

With 3,000 signatures due to the Board of Elections on Wednesday in order to qualify for the April 23 at-large D.C. Council race, candidates have already begun submitting signatures.

Two of the best-known names in the race are Councilwoman Anita Bonds, who currently holds the seat, and Michael Brown, a former councilman who lost last year to David Grosso.

Twenty people initially filed paperwork to join the race to fill the seat left by council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

Matthew Frumin, a Ward 3 advisory neighborhood commissioner, said he submitted 6,000 signatures Tuesday.

"What I bring is a lot of hard work, an eye for creative solutions and the ability to get things done," he said.

John F. Settles II, a mortgage banker, said he's sticking with the race, as well. "The first question everyone asks when I tell them I've decided to run is, 'Are you Crazy?!' " his website's biography begins. "No I'm not crazy."

Diallo Brooks, director of Field Mobilization at the People for the American Way, said he also plans to run.

Paul Zukerberg, an attorney and marijuana advocate, was the first candidate to submit his signatures. Ultimately, he said he should have about 4,500.

Once the deadline passes, candidates and watchdog groups will begin scrutinizing the signatures to ensure that they are valid. During his race last year, Brown had nearly one-third of his signatures invalidated, but he had enough to stay in the race.

The race is open to candidates from both parties, but the vast majority of candidates are Democrats. Patrick Mara, who has submitted his signatures and plans to run, is the lone Republican.

A.J. Cooper, former host of BET's show "Teen Summit," dropped out last week and endorsed former Washington Post

reporter Elissa Silverman. She offered a sentiment Tuesday shared by many of her opponents.

"I'm not going to underestimate any of these folks," Silverman said. "But I'm going to run a very strong campaign."

enewcomer@washingtonexaminer.com

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