With the 2010 primary now less than a year away, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has two opponents looking to take his position.
Fellow Democrats Sulaimon Brown and Leo Alexander may not have as much money as Fenty for their campaigns – Fenty has reportedly raised nearly $3 million – they are campaigning and fundraising all the same.
Brown, who has volunteered for Fenty in the past, announced he was running this past June, citing an 11.1 percent unemployment rate in the District, one in 20 residents testing positive for AIDS, and a budget shortfall of more than $600 million as reasons to run.
“I want to make a change in those numbers.[D.C. residents] deserve a world-class city,” Brown said.
As for his chances against Fenty, who won all 142 precincts in the city’s democratic primary in 2006, Brown said he was bolstered by a recent poll commissioned by WJLA-TV and conducted by SurveyUSA that found that of 500 District residents polled, 51 percent disapproved of Mayor Fenty’s performance.
The poll also showed 58 percent of the surveyed residents said they thought Fenty was more focused on advancing his career than on helping the community and 24 percent said they believe crime has gotten worse. Those polled gave the D.C. school system a D+.
Brown, an auditor, said reducing crime and the high school dropout rate would be priorities for him as mayor.
Fenty and Brown also face Leo Alexander, a former newscaster for local NBC affiliate WRC-TV4 and now an independent insurance sales executive.
Alexander also worked as vice president of marketing and public affairs for D.C. General Hospital and was the director of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications for the D.C. Public Housing Authority.
Alexander announced his run for mayor Sept. 14, exactly a year before the primary election. He could not be reached for comment.
As for Fenty, “With just less than one year to go until the September 14, 2010 primary, we will take nothing for granted,” he said.
“We remain excited and humbled by the outpouring of early support and will continue to work hard to engage voters in a discussion about our vision for the District of Columbia,” Fenty said.
The general election is scheduled for November 2, 2010.
-Jeff Richards contributed to this report