David Catania files petitions to run for D.C. mayor, blasts Muriel Bowser

D.C. Councilmember David Catania. AP file photo

WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia mayoral candidate David Catania says his opponent, fellow council member Muriel Bowser, represents "business as usual" and seems determined to avoid discussing important issues for voters until the last possible moment.

Catania, an independent, filed more than 7,000 petition signatures Tuesday with local elections officials. He needs 3,000 signatures to make the November ballot.

Bowser has pledged not to debate her opponents until after the ballot is finalized next month. As the Democratic nominee, Bowser has a built-in advantage because three out of four voters in the District are Democrats. Democrats have won all of the district's mayoral elections.

Catania says Bowser is a machine politician who's not equipped to address the city's challenges.

Former councilmember Carol Schwartz also is running for mayor as an independent.