Two months after losing his seat to a newcomer to D.C. politics, former D.C. Councilman Michael A. Brown has thrown his hat into the ring for a run at a vacant at-large seat on the D.C. Council.
In November, Brown lost his seat to attorney David Grosso. He changed his party affiliation back to Democrat and began his three week campaign to get his name on the ballot. He had changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent in 2008 to win a seat on the council. A congressional mandate limits the number of seats held by the majority political party, which in the council’s case was Democrat.
The seat Brown is running for was vacated by Councilman Phil Mendelson when he successfully ran for the chairman’s seat, which was left vacant when the former chair, Kwame Brown, was incarcerated for financial improprieties.
Brown told the AFRO that he is interested in regaining a place on the council because that is his life’s calling.
“I am in politics because I was born to serve the poor and disenfranchised,” said Brown, the son of the late Ron Brown, a Clinton administration cabinet member. “It’s in my blood. My father and mother were committed public servants who gave their all so that the less fortunate would have a chance in this country. That same torch burns deep in my heart and is exemplified in what I do.”
While serving on the council for four years, Brown pushed legislation to protect funds for temporary assistance for needy families, affordable housing and jobs for D.C. residents.
Brown came under scrutiny when he announced funds were missing from his campaign account. He publicly admitted the problem after several colleagues were forced to resign from the Council for unethical behavior.
His admission backfired. Some believed Brown was untrustworthy.
“I did nothing wrong,” Brown said. “Across the country, senators and congressmen were faced with similar situations where campaign funds were misused or stolen. I was attacked by the media and never given a fair deal to redeem myself. I will never give up or buckle under pressure.”
Currently, there are more than a dozen candidates seeking the open council seat, including top contenders Anita Bonds, president of the D.C. Democrats, and Republican Patrick Mara.
“Michael has thrown an unexpected monkey wrench into the campaign,” said Bobby Green, a former Brown supporter, now working in the Bond campaign.
Longtime Ward 8 advisory neighborhood commissioner Anthony Muhammad is skeptical of Brown’s chances. “If he couldn’t win when the field was not crowded with contenders, how can he pull it off this time with 14 people in the race?” he said.
Despite the skepticism of some, Brown said he will continue his campaign.
“People need someone who really cares about this city and the residents who are being left out,” said Brown. “I am that person.”