While I am obviously a Virginia blogger, I do pay at least some attention to politics in the nation’s capital (or, to differentiate it from federal politics, The District). Six City Council seats are up for election in the District, including the only Republican on the Council: At-Large member Carol Schwartz.
There was a time when Schwartz was the embodiment of the beleaguered Republican Party in the District. She is the only Republican candidate for Mayor to ever win more than a third of the vote (she did it each of the four times she ran). She won 42% in her second try (1994 against Marion Barry).
However, Ms. Schwartz has lost her way. She sponsored an egregious bill that mandated paid sick leave for nearly all workers in DC, including part-time workers (Washington Post). It was one of the reasons the Service Employees International Union (just about my least favorite union in the country) is endorsing her in the DC Republican primary on September 9. Under DC election rules, one of the two At-Large seats is reserved for someone outside the Democratic party. Even in DC, that makes the Republican nominee the favorite for the “other seat” (it’s the seat Schwartz has held since 1997).
This year, however, Schwartz has a challenger in the GOP Primary: Patrick Mara. Mara is young, energetic, and determined to bring economic sanity to the District. He is backed by both Americans for Tax Reform and the Greater Washington Board of Trade.
Mara would be the voice for change that Carol Schwartz once was. He can also bring the values and ideas of limited government to a place that has never heard it before. Lest anyone think cities are not fertile ground for this sort of thing, remember that they said the same thing in New York until Rudy Giuliani came to town.
It’s time for a change in the DC Republican Party. It’s time for Patrick Mara.