From Matty Rhoades
Yesterday was the big day, folks. April 26 was Special Election Day in D.C. to elect an At-Large Councilmember. Did you get out and vote? If you didn’t you were most assuredly not alone. Turnout was only about 12%.
The winner is former Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent Orange, who snagged 12,216 votes (28%). In second place was the lone Republican in the race, Patrick Mara with 11,096 votes (26%). Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle pulled 8,842 votes (20%), Bryan Weaver got 5,665 votes (13%) and Josh Lopez had 3,079 votes (7%). Four other candidates pulled around 2,200 votes.
Orange will have to face the voters again in the 2012 primary; yesterday’s election was simply to fill the remainder of a four-year term. In other words, another campaign season is just months away. The primary for D.C.’s local offices is traditionally in September.
Both Mara and Weaver live in Ward 1, which includes the U Street area. Mara was elected to the D.C. Board of Education last November from Ward 1; Weaver ran against incumbent Councilmember Jim Graham in the Democratic Primary in Ward 1 last year.
By Precinct and Ward
In the 13 precincts in the Borderstan area, Mara won eight of them — Precincts 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 129. Weaver won the other five — 22, 23, 24, 137 and 141. Moreover, Mara finished second in the five precincts won by Weaver while Weaver finished second in four of the precincts won by Mara.
Citywide, Orange carried Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8. Mara won Wards 2, 3 and 6 while Weaver won Ward 1.
In Ward 2, which contains the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods, Mara got 46%. He was followed by Weaver with 18%, Biddle with 17%, Orange with 10% and Lopez with 6%.
In Ward 1, which contains the U Street area, Weaver got 35%. He was followed by Mara with 23%, Biddle with 17%, Orange with 13% and Lopez with 8%.
Two Endorsements for Weaver in April 26 Special Election
With just days to go before the April 26 special election for the At-Large DC City Council seat, the Washington City Paper and Greater Greater Washington have endorsed candidate Bryan Weaver. Earlier this month The Washington Post endorsed candidate Patrick Mara; the lone Republican in the field of nine candidates. Borderstan profiled candidates Bryan Weaver, Patrick Mara and Josh Lopez. All polling locations will be open from 7 am to 8 pm next Tuesday.
Editor’s note: Joshua Lopez has held a number of positions within D.C. city government, including constituent services specialist, legislative research analyst, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, and was a ward-level campaign director for former Mayor, Adrian Fenty. Lopez also spearheaded the write-in campaign to re-elect Fenty last November after Fenty lost the September primary to Vincent Gray.
Lopez is now running for an At-Large Council seat in the April 26 special election. The seat opened up when Kwame Brown was elected Council Chairman; Sekou Biddle was temporarily appointed to the seat and is running for a full term. A number of Borderstan residents live in Ward 1, which is why we featured current candidates (and residents) Patrick Mara and Bryan Weaver. Since Lopez grew up in Ward 1 (Mount Pleasant) and Ward 2 (Shaw), we made an editorial decision to include him in the ‘softer side’ profile series as well even though he now lives in Ward 4.
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Borderstan: How long and where have you lived in D.C.?
Lopez: I am a native Washingtonian. I was born in Providence Hospital and spent my childhood in Mount Pleasant and Shaw. I moved to the Brightwood neighborhood 11 years ago.
Borderstan: Favorite thing about living in the neighborhood (both where you grew up and where you live now)?
Lopez: Mount Pleasant has an amazingly diverse population. I loved Shaw because of its close proximity to downtown. Brightwood has a rich history with outgoing neighbors.
Borderstan: Least favorite?
Lopez: Mount Pleasant has slowly lost its affordable housing threatening the diversity of the neighborhood. Shaw has had an ongoing problem with crime. They could use a better public safety plan. Brightwood should have better public transportation.
Borderstan: Tell us about yourself. What do you do, how’d you end up doing that and why do you love what you do?
From Matty Rhoades
The seemingly endless long march toward the April 26 special election for an At-Large City Council seat continued Tuesday evening with yet another candidate forum. If this is Tuesday, we must be at… the Black Cat. (Okay, this was only my second forum, but the media coverage alone is wearing me down.) The difference between the candidates on a number of issues is minimal (Corruption Bad! Education Good!) and anyone would be hard pressed to compete with the antics coming from the Wilson Building right now.
But onward the candidates march and last night’s forum was sponsored by The Washington City Paper — the paper’s Loose Lips column to be more specific. The requirement for an invitation was that a candidate had to have 10% support in a poll or have raised at least $10,000 in campaign contributions.
The five candidates out of the nine in the race who passed the test were Joshua Lopez, Patrick Mara, Vincent Orange, Sekou Biddle and Bryan Weaver. The questions came from CP’s Alan Suderman (the current Loose Lips), NBC Channel 4’s Tom Sherwood and “DC Politics” host Chuck Thies.
From Matty Rhoades
Local organizations are sponsoring a forum for candidates running in the At-Large Council election on April 26. The forum is this Tuesday, March 29, at 6 pm in the Church of the Holy City at 16th and Corcoran Streets NW.
Forum moderator is Tom Hay, who writes about local business and government for Borderstan. You can submit questions to him at [email protected] You can get information and links to all the candidates at Vote-DC.org.
The April 26 special election will be conducted differently from other ones in D.C. In a regular election season there is a September primary followed by a November general election. On April 26 all candidates from all political parties will be on the ballot. A majority is not required – the candidate who gets the most votes will fill the At-Large seat.
Sponsoring organizations are Borderstan.com, Dupont Circle ANC, Dupont Circle Citizens Association, Dupont Circle Merchants and Professionals, Foggy Bottom Association, Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, Logan Circle Community Association and Urban Neighborhood Alliance.
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse will host a reception for attendees and candidates at Annie’s Upstairs from 7:30 to 8:30 pm following the forum. There will be a cash bar and complimentary appetizers.