Embattled DC Councilman Marion Barry Wants his Son, Who Has Had Numerous Run-ins with Authorities, to be his Successor


Marion Barry, towering figure of D.C. politics, has discussed bringing his four decades in public life to an end by kindling a family dynasty.
D.C. council member Marion Barry, right, is said to be eyeing his son, Christopher Barry, left, to take over his Ward 8 seat.

Barry, 75, has long been reluctant to acknowledge a District without himself in power. But in recent conversations with political associates, the former four-term mayor has openly considered his political legacy, pondering whether the Barry brand — tarnished in many corners of the city, but sterling in his home ward — might span another generation.
In those conversations, Barry (D) has outlined plans to run for a third consecutive term as D.C. Council member for Ward 8 but serve only part of that time, backing his only son, Christopher Barry, to fill his seat.
Once hailed as “mayor for life,” Marion Barry has faced struggles with drugs, women and tax returns that might have doomed lesser politicians. But sympathetic voters have returned him to office three times after serving a federal prison term. Now, it appears that he’s counting on those sympathies to benefit his son, who also has grappled with drug problems.
Jacque Patterson, a Democratic activist who intends to challenge Barry in the April 3 primary, said Barry discussed the possibility with him during a meeting Oct. 31. Two other people close to Barry said they had also recently had conversations with him about plans involving his son as successor.
“He told me exactly that he only plans to serve two more years, and then he’s going to resign and promote Christopher,” said Patterson, a former chairman of the Ward 8 Democrats who briefly pursued an at-large council post this year. He added that Barry said he would “install Christopher, like it’s his seat.”
The two others spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their relationship with Barry. They also described an arrangement in which Barry would serve less than a full term, then resign and support his son in a special election.
Source: Washington Post | Mike DeBonis

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