The Anthony Williams Pretender Watch, Day 3

Closing the book on pretenders.

Anthony A. Williams (incumbent mayor of Washington, D.C.) last night declared victory in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary for mayor, ending the ordeal that resulted from his campaign’s clumsy failure to provide the 2,000 valid signatures necessary to get on the primary ballot. Well, almost ending it. Each of the nine other D.C. residents named “Anthony Williams” listed by still had until this afternoon to declare himself, and not the incumbent mayor, the write-in Democratic nominee. (In D.C., winning the Democratic nomination is tantamount to winning.) And since Williams unexpectedly won the Republican primary as a write-in candidate, too, each of the nine also had a shot at declaring himself the Republican nominee!

Chatterbox continued trying to contact all nine Anthony Williamses by phone, in hopes that he could persuade all potential pretenders to renounce any claim to victory. In the end, he could reach only Anthonys 6 through 8, whom he reported on yesterday. (Click here to read the item that kicked off this series.) Anthonys 1 and 2 have phones that don’t work, Anthony 3 has a perpetually busy phone, Anthony 4 is a wrong number, and Anthonys 5 and 9 never answer the phone.

At 3:45 p.m., with the final deadline one hour away, the D.C. Board of Elections informed Chatterbox that no Williams pretenders had come forth. Even if they had, spokesman Bill O’Field told Chatterbox, the board would probably have found a way to reject the claim on the grounds that the pretender hadn’t previously done anything to indicate he was a candidate for office. Chatterbox isn’t sure that would have stood up in court. After all, at-large city council member Carol Schwartz, who also did nothing to declare herself a mayoral candidate prior to the election, came forward afterward to claim victory in the Republican primary, where she came in second to Williams. (Williams is not claiming his Republican write-in victory, thereby handing it to Schwartz by default. Unlike Williams, Schwartz is an actual Republican—practically the only one in Washington—though by national standards she’d have to be called a liberal.) Thankfully, though, the whole pretender issue appears now to be moot. In the very unlikely event that some mischief-making Anthony sneaks in at the 11th hour, Chatterbox will file an update. But he doesn’t think it’s going to happen.