The D.C. Board of Elections posted its Jan. 5 listing of the D.C. Council hopefuls for Wards 4 and 8. The winners of the April 28 special election will replace D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) in Ward 4 and the late D.C. Council member Marion S. Barry who represented Ward 8.
The listing shows there are 17 candidates seeking to replace Bowser, including labor attorney and Ward 4 advisory neighborhood commissioner Renee L. Bowser (no relation to Muriel Bowser), who ran for the seat in 2012. Other candidates include the mayor’s preference for the position, former D.C. Council staffer Brandon Todd; commissioner and D.C. NAACP leader Douglass Sloan; and commissioners Ron Austin and Acqunetta Anderson.
Todd reportedly raised $50,000 since declaring his candidacy in December. Todd said he is ready for the race, no matter who runs. “I’m going to work hard,” he said. “I’m going to knock on every door in Ward 4.”
Candidates also filing in the Ward 4 race include Leon T. Andrews Jr., Gwenellen Corley-Bowman, Chrysanthe A. Courniotes, Judi Jones, Lydia I. Little, Bruce Morrison, Edwin W. Powell, Pedro Rubio Jr., Glova Scott, Vannie Taylor III, Bobvala Tengen and Robert J. Whitaker Sr.
Ward 8 residents, dealing with the sudden death of Barry in November, will have a field of 23 candidates to evaluate for the council seat. The latest, and perhaps the most intriguing, candidate is Marion C. Barry, son of the late councilman.
Christopher Barry entered the race on Jan. 5. In a tweet to supporters and the media, he said,
“It’s official. I’m running for Ward 8 council member. Ward 8 the legacy continues. I’m energized, let’s go.”
Natalie Williams, president of the Ward 8 Democrats, an advisory neighborhood commissioner, and a candidate for the seat in 2012, is running. LaRuby May, a civic activist in the Congress Heights neighborhood and a strong Bowser supporter in 2014, is mounting a campaign with many of the mayor’s supporters including ward businessman Phineas Jones and former D.C. Council members Arrington Dixon, Sandy Allen, and Edye Whittington.
Sheila Bunn, former deputy chief of staff to Mayor Vincent Gray, is a candidate along with former Ward 8 D.C. Board of Education member Trayon White, longtime Ward 8 activist and former D.C. Taxicab Commission member Sandra “S.S.” Seegars, former D.C. Statehood Representative Nate Bennett Fleming, D.C. voting rights activist and radio talk show host Eugene D. Kinlow, and anti-violence activist Jauhar Abraham.
Advisory neighborhood commissioners Greta Fuller, Anthony Muhammad, and Karlene Armstead are also candidates for the Ward 8 seat with former commissioner Darrell Danny Gaston. Stuart Anderson, Milton Bell, Wallace Haith, Dennis Harvey, Edwina J. Montague, Keita Vanterpool, Leonard Watson Sr., Angela White (Narain), David J. White, and Ron Williams are activists who have shown interest in representing the ward.
As of Jan. 7, the race for the Ward 8 council seat was reduced from 23 to 21, with Harvey and Williams dropping out. Harvey dropped out to support Chris Barry. Williams said he might run for the seat in 2016.
Candidates in both wards must submit their petitions to the elections board by 5 p.m. on Jan. 28.