The two leading candidates for mayor of Washington, D.C., are squabbling over the crime issue, the Washington Post reports. City Council Chairman Linda Cropp changed the tenor of the mayor’s race by issuing a campaign brochure warning that front-runner Adrian Fenty’s position on crime “puts our safety at risk.” Cropp had not mentioned Fenty, a fellow City Council member, in previous mailings. With only five weeks until the Sept. 12 Democratic primary, Cropp is seeking to reinvigorate her campaign.
Fenty, the only council member who voted against an anticrime package sponsored by Cropp, called the council’s action a “feel-good” maneuver that will have minimal impact in reducing violent crime. “The hastily and politically inspired response to the newest crime emergency underscores the need for new leadership in our city,” Fenty said. He touted “real solutions,” including putting more police officers on the streets, closing down open-air drug markets, and drug houses, and “holding the police department’s feet to the fire.”