Brandon Todd represents Ward 4 on the D.C. Council. (AFRO File Photo)
While most of his colleagues up for re-election in 2016 have drawn opponents, none have surfaced to challenge D.C. Council member Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) as of yet. Todd, is expected to run for re-election in the June 14, 2016, Democratic Party primary. He was elected in a special election in April to replace Mayor Muriel Bowser on the council.
However, Todd doesn’t have an opponent at this time and Marlena Edwards, a Ward 4 community activist and leader, thinks she knows why. “Brandon is doing an excellent job,” Edwards said. “He’s getting good reviews from neighborhood leaders and he is very accessible. He has an excellent constituent services team and they perform an extreme amount of outreach.”
Todd served in Bowser’s council office as the director of constituent services and worked in her re-election campaign in 2012 and her mayoral bid in 2014. He was also elected as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention supporting Barack Obama.
Todd represents a ward located mainly in the northern section of Northwest with a sliver of the Northeast quadrant. The ward includes upper-income Chevy Chase and upper middle-class Shepherd Park and Colonial Village with working class neighborhoods such as Riggs Park and Fort Totten.
The ward has produced three District mayors – Sharon Pratt, Adrian Fenty and Bowser – as well as former D.C. Council Chairman Arrington Dixon and former D.C. Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis. Until 2014, the ward was known for turning out the largest number of voters in local elections. Additionally, the ward has the second largest number of senior citizens in the city, a group that traditionally votes more than younger-aged residents.
Some of Todd’s colleagues have opponents, however, D.C. Council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and David Grosso (I-At Large) are also running unopposed at this point.
Douglass Sloan, an advisory neighborhood commissioner and a former opponent of Todd’s in the April special election, said he has heard of a possible challenger. “I know that Dwayne Toliver is seriously considering running,” Sloan said. Toliver didn’t respond to calls from the AFRO.
Sloan said that Todd’s political future is tied with Bowser’s, especially in light of concerns about FreshPac, a political action committee she is affiliated with, and the city’s crime rate. “People are waiting to see how Muriel performs as mayor, particularly as she completes her first term,” he said. “If there is wear and tear on her in 2016, people may step up and challenge Brandon.”
Nominating petitions for the 2016 council election season will be available on Jan. 22 of next year and March 16 is the deadline for those petitions.
Everett Hamilton, a spokesperson for Todd’s special election campaign, said that the council member hasn’t launched his campaign and is looking to do that in late January or early February 2016. “Brandon wants to focus on connecting with the residents whether he has one opponent, 15 opponents or zero opponents,” he said.