Kenyan McDuffie, a former aide to Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, triumphed over a crowded field in a special election May 15 to replace scandal-plagued Harry Thomas Jr. as Ward 5 Council member.

McDuffie won convincingly, claiming 10 of the ward’s 18 precincts and finishing no lower than second place in the precincts he did not win.

McDuffie, a Democrat, former postal worker and former Justice Department attorney who worked as an aide to Gray before running for office, beat an 11-candidate field with about 45 percent of the vote.

Delano Hunter finished second with more than 20 percent of the vote and Frank Wilds came in third with nearly 15 percent.

McDuffie will complete the unexpired term of Thomas, who resigned and pleaded guilty in January to using nearly $350,000 from a nonprofit with which he was affiliated. He used the funds, originally intended for youth sports programs, to purchase an SUV, travel and for other personal expenditures.

Thomas was sentenced May 3 by a federal judge to 38 months in prison.

The election marked the first time there was not a Harry Thomas on a Ward 5 council ballot since 1982. The late Harry Thomas Sr. served on the D.C. Council for 12 years and was highly regarded for his constituent services.

Tim Day, the lone Republican in the field, had hoped to ride his role as a whistleblower in the Thomas case to victory, but finished fourth with just over 5 percent of the vote.