WASHINGTON (WNEW) — She’d been out of D.C. politics for more than five years, and after entering the race for mayor, Carol Schwartz admits she was nervous about ending up like a lonely character from an old advertisement.
“Jumping out there I could be like the Maytag repair man,” Schwartz says.
But then she started getting feedback from supporters.
“Saying things like ‘finally we have an answer,’…’I was praying that you would come back,'” Schwartz says.
Schwartz has been appearing on ballots in D.C. since the 1970’s, winning spots on the Board of Education and D.C. Council. This is her fifth attempt at the mayor’s office.
“The last time was twelve years ago, it’s been a long time,” Schwartz says.
But she’s shed her long affiliation with the Republican party.
“I’ve met most of our voters halfway and I hope this time they will give me a chance,” Schwartz says.
Her run surprised even her close friends, and while her campaign doesn’t have much money, Schwartz flips that negative into a positive, arguing donations can come with strings attached.
“I don’t think the voters want this election to be bought,” Schwartz says.
D.C.’s changed a lot since she moved here in the ’60s. Its recent “boomtown” status concerns her.
“Many of our residents are being left behind,” Schwartz says.
Schwartz says addressing issues in housing, employment and education can change that. She feels her competition in the race doesn’t have much to offer.
“The fact that I was not enthusiastic about the other candidates is one of the reasons why I’m here,” Schwartz says.
Unlike Muriel Bowser and David Catania, Schwartz doesn’t support Initiative 71, which would legalize possessing small amounts of marijuana. And she’s not a fan of a D.C. Olympic bid.
Supporters to remember Schwartz’s many years in office are ready to vote for her again.
“I think people do know me, a lot of people remember me, the new people I’m running around trying to introduce myself to,” Schwartz says.
While Schwartz has been mired in third-place in the polls, often with percentages in the low double digits, she’s relishing her return to politics.
“I’m so glad to be back running for office,” Schwartz says.
Note: While Schwartz and Catania agreed to one-on-one interviews for our candidate profiles, Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser did not. Check in with All-News 99.1 as we go in-depth on several big races across the region.