[Marion Barry], whose birthday was yesterday, said, "I'm 66 years of age, healthy, wise and strong." Barry said he feels compelled to challenge at-large council member Phil Mendelson (D) because his leadership has been "woefully lacking."
Terrance Lynch, executive director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, applauded a Barry candidacy, saying: "He puts the issues that face the city squarely on the table. There's no ducking issues when Barry's in the race."
Barry was an at-large council member from 1975 to 1979. He was mayor from 1979 until 1991, when he declined to seek reelection after his videotaped drug arrest at a downtown hotel the year before. After serving prison time for a misdemeanor conviction of cocaine possession, he returned to politics in 1992 by winning a seat on the council representing Ward 8. Two years later, Barry stunned the nation by winning back his old job as mayor.
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