Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) officially announced his candidacy for DC mayor on Saturday, June 8. Evans has represented the Dupont-Logan area on the DC Council since 1991 when he first won a special election to fill the seat. (See Jack Evans Dishes on Three Decades of Public Service.) The date for the 2014 Democratic primary, and other party primaries, has not been set.
Evans made his announcement outdoors at the corner of 14th and Q Streets NW in front of the newly opened Le Diplomate restaurant. It was a fitting backdrop for the candidate, who told the crowd, “This is one of the new restaurants on 14th Street… that has transformed DC into one of the most desirable cities in America.” Evans spoke of DC’s transformation in the past decade and talked of how to make it “one of the great cities in the world.”
Incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray has not said whether he will seek a second term. However, Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) is already in the race as is Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6). It is Evans’ second run for mayor; he was a candidate in the 1998 Democratic primary, which was won by former two-term Mayor Anthony Williams. Evans was re-elected to sixth full term on the Council in 2012.
Evans emphasized that he was committed to “preserving” the foundations of DC while “transforming” it into a world-class city. He spoke of assisting, educating and helping DC residents for the new jobs brought by DC’s rapid development. He said that in terms of education that DC needs a “school to career pathway” that focuses on DC’s “vital industries.”
“Change is difficult. It can also be a good thing,” Evans said.
Ward 2 includes most of Borderstan (Dupont-Logan) west of 11th Street and south of U Street NW, and extends to Georgetown, the Potomac and the Capitol.
The Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) and the Ward 2 Democrats are hosting a Mayoral straw poll Wednesday, July 21, at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW. All of the candidates who filed papers to run have been invited, including Mayor Adrian Fenty and Council Chair Vincent Gray. Doors open at 7 pm.
(Check out Friday’s story in The Washington Post about the mayoral race: “In D.C. mayoral debate, accusations trump issues,” which reviews yesterdays’ radio debate on WPFW with host Jonetta Rose Barras and guest panelists.)
The parties hold their primaries on September 14–Democrats, Republicans and Statehood-Greens. While the general election is November 2, it is almost always (as in 95% of the time) an afterthought in heavily Democratic DC.
In other words, the Democratic Primary is the whole ballgame. The Dupont and Logan neighborhoods–and the western end of the U Street area–are in Ward 2.
According to the organizers, everyone is invited to attend–but only Ward 2 registered Democrats will be able to vote in the straw poll. Registration begins at 7 pm and guests will have the opportunity to talk to any candidates who are present at that time. Candidate presentations begin at 7:30 pm and voting will close by 9:15 pm (times subject to change if needed.)
Each candidate will be asked to speak on several topics. Following the presentation, registered Ward 2 Democrats will have the opportunity to vote.
For more information, contact Ward 2 Democrats President Pat Allen at 202-296-0720 or LCCA President Bob Maffin 202-301-2125.
What are your top three issues/concerns for the DC? Take the Borderstan reader poll in the right navigation bar on the landing page and add your comments here.
It is less than three months until the September 14 primary elections in DC. While the general election follows on November 2, primary day is the Big Day in DC elections.
The reason? DC is a one-party town and winners for mayor and council seats (with two exceptions for council seats) have always been decided in the Democratic Primary. The general election is an afterthought–the exception being the 1994 mayoral election between Marion Barry and Carol Schwartz. (See Reader Poll: The Race for DC Mayor.) On September 14, there are also Republican and Statehood Green primaries.
In 2010, we have an intense campaign for DC mayor between incumbent Adrian Fenty and challenger Vincent Gray and a contested race for DC Council Chairman between Vincent Orange and Kwame Brown; both of these contests are in the Democratic Party. Two of the four At-Large seats on the Council are up this year.
Phil Mendelson is getting a serious challenge from Clark Ray in the Democratic Party, and Independent David Catania is up for re-election. Catainia holds one of the two seats reserved for the non-majority party on the DC Council.
In addition, four of the eight ward seats are up this year. Facing re-election are Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6). Almost all of the Dupont-Logan area is in Ward 2, which is represented by Democrat Jack Evans. The northern part of Logan Circle and the U Street are are represented by Graham.
A Very Different City
DC is a different city than it was 20 years ago or even 8 or 12 years ago. The population has actually increased, for the first time since 1950, to around 600,000. Since 2000 there has been a tremendous amount of residential and commercial development, and housing prices and rents have soared.
DC has become a magnet city for the young, educated and creative. An issue that seems to constantly produce political shockwaves–below the surface if not always openly–is the changing demographics of DC. The population is becoming less African-American and more white, Asian and Latino–and younger would also be a good guess. Not surprisingly, this sometimes leads to tensions between long-time residents and newcomers.
What Are Your Issues?
So, what are your top issues for the city, your neighborhood? What issues–and the candidates’ positions on those issues–will be most important when your cast your votes in September and November for mayor, DC Council chair and members of the City Council?
Leave a comment and take the reader poll on the landing page in the right-hand navigation bar.
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- DDoT Survey on 15th Street Bike Lane, Traffic, Safety
- Woolly Mammoth’s “Clybourne Park” Looks at Gentrification
- Borderstan Poll: 49% Fenty, 26% Gray, 21% Undecided
- Reader Poll: The Race for DC Mayor
- Crime Bill Hearing on Monday; Thursday Deadline to Testify
- Clark Ray Gets Endorsement from Madeleine Albright
Who’s your choice for DC mayor in the September 14 Democratic primary? The Borderstan reader poll is still open.
If the local political scene has you baffled, here is a very very brief backgrounder on mayoral elections before we get to the reader poll. And, for coverage of DC politics, here are some suggestions.
Read the Washington City Paper; its “City Desk” and “Loose Lips” columns/blogs are very informative. The DC Agenda (the weekly gay newspaper) is another good source of information on DC politics as WAMU-88.5 FM. Naturally, the Post covers local politics in detail and the dcist is another good online source of city news.
As noted, the race for DC mayor is underway. Since this is an overwhemingly Democratic city, the Democratic Primary in September (on the 14th this year) has always determined the winner; the November general election is an afterthought. In 2006, the Republican and Green Party candidates got 6% and 4% of the vote, respectively.
Just how Democratic is DC? There are 12 members of the DC Council and a Council chairman. The city’s homerule charter actually reserves two spots for the non-majority party (the Democrats). Both of those seats are now held by independents (David Catania a former Republican and Michael Brown, who is really a Democrat).
The only time there was a serious general election campaign was 1994 when former Councilmember Carol Schwartz got 42% of the vote as a [liberal] Republican. She was running against Marion Barry who was making a comeback after four years out of office; he is now a member of the DC Council from Ward 8 (there is much more to the Barry story, as you undoubtedly know).
Let’s see how Borderstan readers feel about the race for mayor, specifically the September 14 Democratic primary. (Other declared candidates are Leo Alexander and Donna Alston.) It will be interesting to compare our readers versus those of the Prince of Petworth, who recently ran a poll. We will also have reader polls soon for the At-Large Council seats and the Council Chairman.
Note: DC’s primaries are “closed”–you must be registered in a party in order to vote in its primary. Moreover, if you are not registered in a party, you are ineligible to vote in any primary. If you want to vote in the September 14 Democratic primary (or the Republican or the Statehood Green Party), you must be a member of that party.