Andy Shallal, the owner of the restaurant chain Busboys and Poets, has officially entered the D.C. mayoral race.
It wasn't your every day campaign kick-off. From the opening act, a drum line worked its way through the packed house at Ben's Chili Bowl to a rap song by a local artist.
But Iraqi-born Andy Shallal isn't your everyday politician. The owner of the popular Busboys and Poets chain of restaurants says this is the first time he's ever run for public office.
He says his vision for D.C. is for the city to be great for everyone, not just for some.
"We are going to far and wide throughoutt the city, we're going to go to every corner," Shallal said. "We're going to stand up in Cedar Hill in Anacostia, we're going to look across Anacostia and see those mighty monuments rise above it. And we're going to see the possibilities of what can happen in this city."
And while Shallal says he has an idealistic vision for the city, he's a realist when it comes to running for mayor. He says he will raise enough money to compete and will accept corporate contributions.
Shallal spoke on the Kojo Nnamdi Show last week and explained why he's running for mayor and what he thinks he can accomplish.