Fenty asks for apology from detractor, doesn't get it

During Monday night's Ward 8 mayoral forum, a question about senior citizens prompted long-shot Democratic candidate Sulaimon Brown to question whether incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty respected his parents. After the forum, reporters asked Fenty about Brown's perceived low blow.

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Adrian Fenty
Adrian Fenty

Long story short

Long-shot candidate wonders if mayor respects his parents and won't apologize.


When Brown (a former Fenty volunteer) originally made the statement, the moderator gave him a chance to respond, and he got emotional while doing so.

“I just want to speak from the heart for a second,“ Fenty said in his response, which The Washington Post's Mike Debonis explored in-depth. “We’ve had a lot of debates. I've been attacked a lot by this candidate over here. I've never responded, but I would just ask all of my people running for mayor, all the other candidates who are running, he just said he doesn't know whether I respect my parents. At some point, you all, we're crossing the line. Somebody says that, we don't need to go there in this campaign. I love my parents just like everybody else. To me, that goes over the line.”

Fenty later said he thought Brown should apologize. But Brown didn’t back down from the statement in an interview today.

“I don’t regret saying it,” Brown said. “Not one bit.”

Brown called back a few minutes after the phone interview ended, saying that he wanted to clarify his remarks.

“The mayor’s attempting to view this as if I would go around, to stoop so low as to talk about someone’s mother in a campaign, and that’s not the case,” he said. “And I just want to make that really clear. It was in the form of a question.”

Brown kept talking, though.

“I guess it hit home because maybe he doesn’t respect his elders,” he said.


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