The District of Columbia Board of Elections released a list on Jan. 27 naming all candidates running for public office, part of its preparation for the earlier-than-usual primaries on April 1.

“This year is a little different because it is one of the earlier primaries that we have had compared to years,” board spokeswoman Tamara Robinson said. Primary elections previously occurred in September or October, but were moved to April this year to comply with a federal law requiring local governments to allow time for overseas voters and service personnel stationed around the world to cast absentee ballots, she said.

The 2014 general elections will be held on Nov. 11.

Candidates running in the 2014 primary for delegate in the House of Representatives include U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), a 12-term congresswoman; Republican Nelson F. Rimensnyder, a retired Army veteran and director of research for the House Committee on the District; D.C. Statehood Green party member Natale “Lino” Stracuzzi, a sales representative for the furniture industry; and Libertarian Sara Jane Panfil, a paralegal.

Candidates running for U.S. Representative include Democrat Franklin Garcia, president and founder of the D.C. Latino Caucus; and Libertarian Martin Moulton, an education advocate who works in the tech sector.

Candidates running for shadow U.S. Senator include Democrats Pete Ross, an Army veteran; Paul Strauss, third-term senator and chairperson on the Board of Real Property Assessment and Appeals for the District; and Libertarian entrepreneur John Daniel.

Candidates for Chairman of the Council include Democrats Calvin H. Gurley, a former accountant and auditor for the federal government; and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

There are eight Democrats running for mayor: Mayor Vincent C. Gray; Council member Muriel E. Bowser (Ward 4); Council member Jack Evans (Ward 2); Council member Vincent C. Orange (At Large); Council member Tommy Wells (Ward 6); Carlos Allen, a military veteran and entrepreneur; Reta Lewis, an attorney; and Andy Shallal, owner of the Busboys and Poets franchise. Libertarian Bruce Majors, a real estate agent, is also running.

Also up for grabs in the primary elections are other public offices, such as the council seats for wards 1, 3, 5 and 6.
Citizens have until 30 days prior to the election to register to vote with the Board of Elections. Registration deadline for the primary is March 1 and for the general election is Oct. 11.

“The District of Columbia Board of Elections believes that every single election is important, whether it’s the primary elections, general elections or special elections, because we want to make sure that every single person who is eligible has the right to vote,” Robinson said.

She said the board will open 13 voting centers from March 24 to March 29 to give residents more opportunities to vote early.

“We want to give people as many opportunities to get out and vote this year,” she said.

Individuals registering to vote for the first time may be required to submit current and valid photo identification or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows their name and address with the application. Those voters should also bring this information with them the first time they vote in a federal election.

Voters choosing to submit an absentee ballot must return it on or before Election Day. Voters may deliver ballots to any polling place or the Board of Elections office at 441 4th street NW, suite 250 North by 8 p.m. on Election Day.


LaTrina Antoine

Special to the AFRO