Helen Whalen Cohen

He's ba-aaack. Marion Barry, former four-term DC mayor is running for office again. District residents (myself included) remember some of the highlights of his career, including tax evasion, smoking crack on tape and improperly awarding a contract to his girlfriend (and later stalking her). Now he want to continue representing Ward 8 on the DC Council.

 

As HBO considers making a movie about Marion Barry with Eddie Murphy in the title role, the real Barry is doing something that comes naturally: running for re-election in the nation's capital.

Barry, the former four-term District of Columbia mayor whose legacy will always be tainted by his 1990 arrest after being caught on video smoking crack cocaine, now plays the role of elder statesman on the D.C. Council, where he represents a poor, predominantly black ward.

At 75, Barry walks stiffly and slowly, having survived prostate cancer, a kidney transplant and a gunshot wound when Hanafi Muslims attacked city hall in 1977. But the man once dubbed the city's "Mayor for Life" says he has more influence than in more than a decade and fully intends to seek a third straight council term this year, even if the prospect makes some wince.

He goes so far as to predict a winning margin of at least 70 percent in the April Democratic primary in Ward 8, the neighborhood east of the Anacostia River where he remains popular.

Speaking of DC politics, Barry's friend Mayor Vincent Gray is currently facing a recall after a year plagued by scandal. Soon after Mayor Gray took office, it was revealed that he had hired friends and family members for city jobs.

Local DC politics at its finest!


Helen Whalen Cohen

Helen Whalen Cohen is Associate Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com.