Tommy Wells kicks off 2014 mayoral campaign

Wells stood in the rain in Northeast to make his case to become mayor. Photo: Hatzel Vela

Tommy Wells stood on a rain-soaked street corner Saturday to announce that he's officially running for mayor of the District of Columbia next year.

Preaching that there is a "crisis of ethics" inside the District's city hall, Wells, who serves Ward 6 on the D.C. Council, says that he's committed to bringing an end to corruption in Washington.

"Residents like us are concerned about the future of Washington," Wells told a crowd at Starburst Plaza in Northeast. "We've seen the greatest ethical crisis since the beginning of home rule. People want that changed."

Wells is the second sitting councilmember to announce a run for mayor. On March 23, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser also announced that she'd run in 2014.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who defeated incumbent Adrian Fenty in a contentious election in 2010, has not yet announced whether or not he'll run for reelection. His term in office has been ravaged by numerous scandals, including the disclosure of a shadow campaign.

Predicating his campaign on battling corruption and providing D.C. residents with livable, walkable communities, Wells said that one of his main goals will be to restore integrity in government.

"Everyone knows we've had a difficult journey," Wells said of the District's battles aginst crack cocaine, violent crime, murder and financial constraints. "We've pulled the city out of that.

"We're moving forward. We're bringing in new jobs. If we have a corrupt government, it's all at risk."

His vision for the city will focus on three main goals - cutting the number of juvenile crimes in half, making sure that every family in Washington has a quality elementary school in their neighborhood and build the next generation of public transit.

"This really is a way to manage our growth and create options," he said.

Wells, who has served Ward 6 on the D.C. Council since 2006, said that he will not take campaign contributions from corporations or lobbyists.