Advisory Neighborhood Commissions head David Lehrman, who represents southeast Foggy Bottom, probably should have known better.
It was "unusual" for a college student to engage in so many ANC meetings, but there sat 21-year-old George Washington University junior Patrick Kennedy time and time again. "He had quite deliberately befriended me," Lehrman said. "In hindsight, I can't help but see there was an overarching scheme to this." After establishing 2A01 district residency and gaining the required 25 signatures, Kennedy asked Lehrman for a cup of coffee and delivered the news: He was ready to run against his mentor and "wanted [his] endorsement," Lehrman recalled.
Now the two men, who live one floor apart in the same apartment building, regularly bump into teach other, but avoid election talk. "It's not awkward at all," Kennedy said. "David is a very nice man." Lehrman, a 66-year-old former Department of Transportation lawyer and 10-year incumbent, had run unopposed until now. He says that while this election isn't as exciting as the presidential one, commissioner positions carry weight. "In theory I can call President Obama and say, 'I'm your ANC representative,' " Lehrman said as the White House falls within his district's lines.
While Lehrman is pushing for inclusion of a suicide education program at GW, Kennedy's campaign will focus on additional bike racks and a Foggy Bottom "heritage trail." "There will be no slick mailers or TV ads in this race, it's just a matter of old-fashioned retail campaigning and working to convince my neighbors that I'm the best candidate to guide their concerns to resolutions from the position of ANC," Kennedy said.
Lehrman calls the whole thing ""wonderfully Shakespearean."
-- Lucy Westcott contributed this report.