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Fiona Greig withdraws

I am not surprised that Ward 2 City Council candidate Fiona Greig decided to withdraw.

I am only surprised at the excuses she and her supporters are using.

Politics is the same all over and D.C. is no different. Whether you are running for President of the United States or City Council you must be prepared to deal with people looking into your past and scrutinizing your personal and business history. After all, you are asking people to take a leap of faith and vote for you to represent them on important issues.

Apparently Greig wasn’t prepared for the scrutiny. I never met her but was looking forward to the campaign. I haven’t always agreed with current Ward 2 councilmember Jack Evans. In fact, I have supported those running against him in the past. I think that Evans has done much good for the people he represents, but I always have an issue with those who want to stay in local office for a lifetime.

Many were surprised when the person who challenged Evans this time was someone with very little community background or involvement in the issues of Ward 2. From her announcement Greig sounded more like someone running at-large rather than someone who was going to get involved in the issues facing the people of Ward 2. These include parking, liquor licenses, town and gown issues and zoning issues, among others. Of course, the people of Ward 2 want an ethical representative. I and many others have publicly called for ethics reform, abolishment of the Constituent Service Funds, and a more open government. I would like to see someone become a full-time councilmember for Ward 2, not just have it as their secondary income.

The reality is that the person who will run and win against Evans needs to have the understanding of the city that he does. They need to understand politics or they will never be successful as a council person. It appears from both her announcement and then withdrawal statement that Greig wasn’t that person.

She seems to lack the basic understanding that filings with the Board of Elections are open to the public and there are many political junkies who look at those filings regularly. You don’t need a private detective to see them. Her reference to a fellow employee at McKinsey as homosexual wasn’t tragic, but it did show a lack of what is happening in the world today. That is an antiquated term. Also the issue of her marriage and whether her husband was divorced or not when they married may be interesting to some but I don’t believe it would ever have been an issue in the campaign. Those two issues surely weren’t reasons to withdraw.

I actually believe that Greig withdrew for lack of support and because she found it hard to raise money. Raising campaign funds in today’s climate is difficult. I would hope that if she is really interested in serving the people of Ward 2 that she will spend the next few years becoming active in the ward, getting to know people, maybe running for the ANC Commission, and then trying again.

We need new people in D.C. government, but just announcing you are new and want to run isn’t enough.

By Peter D. Rosenstein