Busboys and Poets Owner Shallal Launches Bid for D.C. Mayor

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Andy Shallal speaks at The 2013 Peace Ball: Voices of Hope And Resistance at Arena Stage on Jan. 20, 2013 in Washington, D.C.  (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

Andy Shallal speaks at The 2013 Peace Ball: Voices of Hope And Resistance at Arena Stage on Jan. 20, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — District of Columbia mayoral candidate Andy Shallal says he wants the city “to be great for everyone, not just for some.”

The Iraqi-born owner of the Busboys and Poets restaurant chain launched his mayoral bid on Tuesday. He says he wants to expand economic opportunity for disadvantaged city residents. Campaign chairman Rock Newman says Shallal “is wholly untainted by the cesspool of Washington, D.C., politics.”

The 58-year-old Shallal is one of several contenders in the April 1 Democratic primary, including four D.C. councilmembers. Mayor Vincent Gray hasn’t said whether he’ll seek re-election. Shallal supported Gray in 2010.

Shallal says he can raise enough money to compete, and he plans to accept corporate contributions, which are legal in the district. Councilmember Tommy Wells is the only candidate not accepting such contributions.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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