Can Pat Mara Win a Seat on the D
They are the young college strivers from around the country, who flock post graduation to jobs at the Capitol where they answer constituent mail, get coffee, and move up in the ranks. After a few years on the Hill, they cash in/sell out/move on to better paying lobbying and consulting jobs. They buy a house, they start a family, they grow roots. Council seat three times, and certainly not as Republicans in a town where Democrats enjoy a nearly 12 to 1 advantage on the voter rolls. for the past 16 years, is in the midst of his third GOP bid for a Council seat and is pretty confident that he’s Michael Kors Bags Outlet going to win this time around.Mara says he’s learned from his failed runs in 2008 and 2011 how to put together a data driven campaign that clearly identifies his supporters and focuses its attention on making sure they vote. In an interview last week, Mara said his campaign has already identified 10,000 of his voters, compared to only 6,000 his 2011 campaign had identified at a similar junction.”I mean, dude, we’re so ahead right now,” says Mara of his current campaign compared to his last one. (He got 11,851 votes in 2011 and lost to Councilmember Vincent Orange by 1,732, so if his organization has really identified 10,000 voters, he could be right about that.)The April 23 contest was rocked this week by former Councilmember Michael Brown’s announcement that he’s dropping out of the race for “personal and family reasons,” a move that adds even more instability to what was already a difficult outcome to predict. No poll in the at large Council race has been made public, though LL has heard of a couple being conducted by as yet mystery candidates/and or outside groups.Mara has also apparently heard of these polls. Asked whether he’s familiar with what the results show, Mara says, “I’ve heard good things. I’ve heard very good things.” When pressed for details, Mara asked if his comments could be retroactively put off the record. When LL denied that request, Mara said he “must have misspoke.”Mystery polls aside, Mara still has reason to be confident of his chances. He barely lost two years ago, finishing close to Orange even though Mara split much of the western half of the city’s votes with other candidates. This time around, Mara scored the influential Washington Post endorsement (though that wasn’t enough for him to win when the Post endorsed him in 2011 or 2008), has endorsements from the Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Club, and is raising money faster than he did in 2011. According to the most recent campaign finance reports, Mara’s pulled in $75,000, second only to Ward 3 school activist Matthew Frumin.And efforts by competitors Elissa Silverman (a former LL columnist) and Councilmember Anita Bonds to tie Mara to the more noxious parts of the GOP brand don’t appear to have gained much traction. Mara did have to return a $1,000 campaign donation from the far right Freedom’s Defense Fund political action committee. The group supports hard line conservatives, including former Rep. Todd Akin, who declared last year that some rape was “legitimate.” But most voters are probably well aware by now of Mara’s party affiliation. He was a delegate to Mitt Romney’s presidential nominating convention and is a regular donor to Republican candidates. Mara says he made the decision to be a Republican when he was 18 and has not wavered since, and he thinks it might actually help him appeal to corruption weary voters.”It’s the greatest level of independence,” Mara says. Republican Party can raise money and campaign on Mara’s behalf, though the party’s small base of registered voters here might not be such a boon.)If he does win, it’ll be the culmination of five years of work by Mara, who burst onto the local political scene when he defeated Carol Schwartz in the 2008 Republican primary.That year, business interests were eager to get rid of Schwartz, an icon of city politics who would have been nearly impossible to defeat in the general election. In Mara they found a perfect candidate: a 33 year old Republican lobbyist with Boy Scout looks, a sunny disposition, and a willingness to knock on thousands of doors. in 1997 to work in the office of former Sen. John Chafee, a moderate Republican. After a few years, he left to work at ML Strategies as a lobbyist mainly on environmental issues. was his home. After he won the GOP primary that year, he quit the lobbying firm.Since then, Mara has worked as a fundraiser for nonprofits and a consultant on several start up businesses to pay the bills. (He received an MBA from Babson College while working as a lobbyist.) He says confidentiality agreements prevent him from disclosing whom he helped raise money for (“no one bad”) but says he’s made a conscious decision not to get involved with any organization that does business with the Cheap Michael Kors Bags District government.When he won the GOP primary in 2008, Mara ran to the right of Schwartz, highlighting his fiscal conservatism. His 2008 campaign website boasted that Mara was a proud signee of Grover Norquist’s anti new tax pledge. Meanwhile, deep pocketed construction and parking interests bought tens of thousands of dollars in negative campaign mail ads to paint Schwartz as anti business.Only 4,000 Republicans voted in that election, with Mara winning by 18 points. But his victory was short lived. Schwartz ran an unsuccessful write in campaign for the general election that effectively killed any chance Mara had of winning. Some political observers, as well as Mara, say Schwartz appeared motivated more by a desire to see Mara lose than to actually win the race. (Michael Brown won the seat, while 11 percent of voters cast write in ballots and Mara got 10 percent of the vote.)Schwartz says that’s untrue and that Mara should have disassociated himself from some of the negative attacks paid for by his supporters: “I ran to win the seat he took away from me in a very nasty on his part primary.”Former Ward 5 Republican Council candidate Tim Day isn’t a fan, either, saying Mara was a selfish and unreliable ally when Day ran in 2010. “Pat is out for himself,” says Day, who is backing Bonds in the special election.Mara says he doesn’t know what more he could have done to help Day. Mara also says he’s moved on from the 2008 race and bears Schwartz no ill will. In fact, he says, “I bear nobody ill will.” That presumably includes Ward 1 activist (and 2014 Council candidate) Bryan Weaver, whose candidacy in the 2011 special election Mara believes was a main factor in his defeat. Weaver scored most of his votes in his home turf of Ward 1, where Mara had pulled off an upset 2010 victory for the mostly powerless school board seat.Besides politics, the Columbia Heights resident used to own a stake in Meridian Pint (a bar where he met his wife, Shannon O’Leary). Mara also sells political and sports paraphernalia on eBay, ranging from a 1948 ticket to the Democratic National Convention ($99.95) to a Bush Cheney bumper sticker from 2000 ($3.95). standards. political memorabilia that doesn’t have the name Marion Barry on it will be worth selling online soon. But if they do, Mara might be in a prime position to collect items for a while. Council 2008 election. Patrick Mara did not finish in a distant third to Carol Schwartz; he got about 1 percentage point fewer votes than write in did, but not every write in was necessarily a vote for Schwartz.I have known Pat for well over 20 years now (I met him when he was an incoming Freshman at Marist) and I cannot think of a better person to call Councilmember. He is a hard working, earnest guy who I think if voters took off their party glasses would find someone that is alot like themselves. In 22 days you can continue checking the box for some nameless candidate (who by the way will be a mere placeholder for whatever “power playe”r is taken out of mothballs to run for the full term) or you can take a shot on an earnest guy who actually gives a sht about DC and where this city could go.YO SEWERMAN NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU SOFT PEDDLE THIS BAMMA HE DOES NOT FIT HERE IN THIS CITY. PERIOD!HE CAN NOT IDENTIFY WITH THE MINORITY OF FOLK HERE LET ALONE THE MAJORITY OF FOLK HERE. HIS CONSISTUENCY DOESN’T EVEN REGISTER ON THE FUCKING RADAR. LOOK ONE WHITE, GAY, CONSERVATIVE, REPUBLICAN ON THE COUNCIL IS ENOUGH. EVEN GAYTANIA IS NOW REACHING OUT TO HIS WORSE ENEMY WHO IS AT THE OPPOSITE END OF HIS SPECTRUM IN ORDER TO MAKE IN ROADS TO A BLOCK OF VOTERS WHO WOULD NOT GIVE GAYTANIA THE TIME OF DAY IN ORDER TO MAKE SOME CHANGES TO EDUCATION. EDUCATION AN IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT EVERYONE CAN AGREE ON BUT GAYTANIA KNOWS HE CAN NOT MOVE FORWARD ON CHANGES WITHOUT BEING CHARACTERIZED AS “THE WHITE MAN”, BEING IGNORED OR CHANNELING HIS INNER MICHELLE RHEE AT BEST.THE POSITIVE SPIN FROM THE STATS FROM THE RACE AGAINST VINCENT ORANGE “THE BLUSTERING BLOHARD” WAS FOOLS GOLD. HIM THINKIN THE LOST BY SO MANY VOTES TO THAT BAMMA IS A FUTURE WIN SHOWS HE JUST WANT TO GET A FOOT IN THE DOOR TO LAY FORTH AN AGENDA THAT WILL NOT AND WONT NOT BENEFIT ANYONE BUT WHITE, GAY, CONSERVATIVE, REPUBLICANS! A DATA DRIVEN CAMPAIGN IS CODE FOR I NEED ANOTHER WAY TO WIN BECAUSE I Cheap Michael Kors Handbags CAN’T WIN BY GOING TO AN ANACOSTIA OR DEANWOOD CHURCH ON A SUNDAY MORNING AND SWAYING AUNT GERTIE AND/OR UNCLE JO JO TO VOTE FOR ME!THE VOTING PUBLIC SHOULD NOT DISCOUNT TIM DAY’S ASSERTION THAT THE FAKE ASS SPIEL MARA IS SPOUTING IS NOTHING BUT A FAADE. REMEMBER FOLK DAY IS 1 FOR 1 HE BROUGHT TRUTH TO LIGHT ON HARRY THOMAS AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. SO IF TIM DAY A FELLOW GAY REDUMBLICAN CALLS YOU OUT THEN CORRUPTION WEARY VOTERS SHOULD BEWARE OF PATRICK MARA!