There are now two independent candidates vying for the D.C. mayor’s seat, which has only ever been filled by Democrats.
Carol Schwartz, a former Republican At-Large D.C. Council member made a surprise announcement Monday, kicking off her fifth mayoral campaign as an independent candidate. Schwartz, who served 16 years on the D.C. Council, will face off against D.C. Council members Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, and fellow independent David Catania.
“I have watched closely from the sidelines and have been concerned about what is happening in our city’s present and what its future will look like,” Schwartz said in a two-page statement mailed to reporters.
Schwartz’s candidacy will likely splinter Catania supporters and could help clear the path for Bowser, who toppled current Mayor Vincent Gray in April’s Democratic primary.
Schwartz also spoke out against D.C.’s long history of corruption, saying it “has gone beyond the pale.”
Local businessman Jeffrey Thompson pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy in March for orchestrating the $668,800 shadow campaign which buoyed Mayor Vincent Gray’s 2010 mayoral bid.
Despite Gray’s claims that he knew nothing about the Thompson’s campaign, federal prosecutors insisted Gray was aware of the illicit campaign — a claim that plagued his unsuccessful reelection bid this spring.
Starting Friday, Schwartz will have two months to secure the 3,000 signatures she needs to get on November’s ballot.