Independent mayoral candidates D.C. Council member David Catania and former D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz are campaigning to convince District voters that they should buck political tradition of supporting the Democratic nominee and support their bids to lead the city.
D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser, who represents Ward 4, is the Democratic nominee for mayor but some residents are not sold on her as mayor and Catania, a former Republican who left the party in 2004, and Schwartz want to be seen as alternatives.
Catania has served on the D.C. Council for 17 years and has a reputation as a passionate and sometimes testy legislator who has helped bring down the city’s HIV/AIDS rate, improved residents access to health care insurance, put the United Medical Center on the path to financial solvency, and spear headed legalizing same-sex marriage. Catania’s accomplishments impressed Paul and Barbara Savage, who hosted a barbecue for the mayoral candidate onAug. 23.
“I believe that David will be a good leader for our city,”Barbara Savage said. “I know that David will bring this city together.We don’t need a mayor who is good at socializing but one who can put the city back on good footing.”
The Savages are recognized throughout the District as a Democratic Party political power couple. In 1998, they played a central role in convincing Anthony Williams to run for mayor victoriously and recruited Vincent Gray in 2004 to successfully challenge Ward 7 D.C. Council member Kevin Chavous.
Catania told supporters in the Savages back yard that being the city’s mayor is about trust. “We need a mayor who has a record and not someone who can just make a promise,” he said.
Catania is the chairman of the council’s Committee on Education and said that he has visited the city’s schools and worked to end social promotion – the practice of advancing a student by grade based on age and not academic performance.
Catania, 46, wants to diversify the economy by creating an environment where tech entrepreneurs can thrive and reward longtime District government workers who sometimes feel ignored. Catania recently received the endorsement of the city’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). “David Catania is a dedicated public servant, who possesses the executive leadership experience necessary to manage the complexities of the District of Columbia government. He is the most qualified candidate in the race,” Delroy Burton, the chairman of the FOP, said on Aug. 20.
Catania said he will win by celebrations.