Mr. Peebles Ready to Fight Fenty

Developer could run himself

By Chris Needham
|  Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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Mr. Peebles Ready to Fight Fenty

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Is that a look of worry on the Mayor's face?

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Mr. Peebles means business.

The Florida-based real estate developer with a $4 billion portfolio had previously offered to raise $1 million for anyone who was interested in taking on Mayor Adrian Fenty in next year's D.C. elections.  But now, Mr. Peebles might take things into his own hands.

He's not quite tossing his hat in the ring, but he's taking some warm-up throws, reports the Washington Business Journal.

In an interview with WBJ,  Mr. Peebles aired out some quotes as if he were practicing a campaign, saying "The current mayor lacks the integrity, competency, capacity and maturity to be an effective mayor, and he’s unable to get along with anybody else...I love this city and it breaks my heart to see an administration that could have gone such a long way to unite this city has actually gone the furthest in dividing it."

Mr. Peebles denies that he would run to get back at the Mayor because the Mayor picked a different developer for a project.  He's above that sort of thing, he claims. The development thing is all a mere coincidence, but not if the other guy's doing it.

[Mr. Peebles] did add, however, that he thinks the mayor has distributed development projects to friends and campaign supporters, pointing to a Fenty fundraiser hosted by Chris Donatelli of Donatelli Development. Donatelli has won development rights to two projects under Fenty. Peebles called it “an environment of pay to play.”

“I don’t think there’s a major development team that doesn’t include one of his friends,” he said.

Mr. Peebles is certainly itching for a fight.  But will it be him with the gloves on, or will he be standing in the corner of the ring with the spit bucket?

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