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Brown, Grosso Spar During At-Large Council Debate

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D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown and challenger David Grosso went head-to-head over Brown's personal finances and Grosso's misdemeanor drug conviction during their first televised debate.

Grosso, an independent, said on NewsChannel 8's "NewsTalk" program Thursday that Brown is "not fit to be in office" because of his struggles managing his personal and campaign finances.

"Whether it be his own taxes, his rent, his mortgage... " Grosso said. Brown, who's also an independent, countered by accusing Grosso of trying to hide his 1993 guilty plea to possessing a small amount of marijuana.

"And I would appreciate if you're going to talk about my personal issues, talk about yours," Brown said. "Talk about your arrest and conviction. You talk about being transparent, why didn't you tell the voters about it up front?"

Grosso said he has been honest about that charge.

The battle for Brown's at-large seat is expected to be the most competitive race in the District of Columbia this fall. Campaign finance reports show that Grosso has more than three times as much money in the bank as Brown, who last month revealed that $110,000 was stolen from his campaign bank account. Authorities are still investigating the incident. No arrests have been made.

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