If you thought Ron Moten’s colorful past might prove too colorful for the D.C. Republican party, think again. The city’s GOP is welcoming Moten’s decision to change parties.
Moten just changed his party registration from Democrat to Republican this afternoon, and tomorrow he formally launches his bid for the Ward 7 seat on the DC Council at Woodlawn Cemetery.
What prompted the change? Moten, co-founder of the nonprofit Peaceoholics, tells Tim Craig of the Post, “I have been a conservative the whole time. The issues I see going on in D.C., I think what I am doing is the best decision for the city right now, and with things that need to be fixed, I think this is the way to fix them.”
Whether Moten is motivated by a newfound alignment with Republican values (and he acknowledges he rejects much of what the national party stands for) or a play to increase his odds of being on the ballot in November, the D.C. GOP welcomes his conversion.
“I’ve discussed this with him, and we welcome him making this change,” said Bob Kabel, chairman of the D.C. Republican Committee. “His philosophy is very much in sync with ours.” Kabel cites Moten’s push for economic development in Ward 7 (“which none of the Democrats have ever done") and his desire to “clean up the (ethics) mess at city hall.”
Does his high-profile past — which includes arrests, prison time, stinger-like barbs launched at the city’s elected leaders and a penchant for theatrics — worry his new party?
“Sure,” Kabel said. “Obviously there’s some discomfort with some of it. But he’s done a lot of good things in his community. He’s articulate… fascinating… [and has] a lot to offer. … He’s part of the diversity of candidates we’re trying to recruit.”
Kabel, who plans to attend Moten’s campaign kickoff event on Saturday, stressed that it’s up to Ward 7 Republicans to decide whom they want to be their nominee.
Incumbent Yvette Alexander, who was elected in 2006, is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Kevin B. Chavous, son of former councilman Kevin P. It’s expected that others will enter the race.