By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, [email protected]
The chairman of the D.C. Council, and one of the at-large council members, didn’t receive an endorsement from one of the most influential political organizations in the District of Columbia.
On April 21, the Ward 8 Democrats held their endorsement meeting for the positions of the District Attorney General, chairman of the D.C. Council, and the Democratic at-large seat on the council at the D.C. Vehicle for Hire Department in the ward. Ward 8 Democratic voters were eligible to cast ballots for the three positions and there were members of the D.C. Democratic State Committee members from other wards to police the process and see that it ran smoothly.
The voting took place from 12-2 p.m.
The endorsements are for the June 19 Democratic primary. The winner of the Democratic primary for the three positions are favorites to win the Nov. 6 general election because the city is 74 percent Democratic, according to D.C. Board of Elections statistics.
For a candidate to receive an endorsement from the Ward 8 Democrats, they needed to get 60 percent of the votes that were cast. In this instance, a candidate would have had to get 46 votes out of the 78 cast.
D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) is running for re-election to a second full term. Bonds is running against Ward 8 activist Aaron Holmes, environmental leader Jeremiah Lowery and real estate professional Marcus Goodwin in the June 19 Democratic Party primary.
Bonds got 33 votes, 13 short of the endorsement while Holmes got 21, Goodwin received 12 and Lowery had eight. Despite not getting the Ward 8 Democrats nod, Bonds told the AFRO she was satisfied with the result.
“I am pleased that I came and participated,” she said. “I would note that one of my opponents came from this ward and I got more votes than he did.”WHO IS SHE TALKING ABOUT?
Goodwin credited the leadership of the Ward 8 Democrats for having an open process. “The result was nothing profound to me but I take my hat off to the Ward 8 Democrats for giving the candidates a fair opportunity,” he said to the AFRO. Goodwin noted that the late Marion Barry, the four-term mayor and elected four times to represent the ward on the D.C. Council, would have supported Bonds and she would have gotten the endorsement outright because of his influence.
During the council candidates’ forum that took place during the voting, all agreed that more affordable housing is needed in the District and the educational system is due for major improvements. They also agreed that the District should have a state-of the art hospital in its East End and not a jail, whether it is publicly or privately financed.
In the chairman’s race, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson came up three votes shy of winning the endorsement. However, there are three provisional ballots that need to be counted and they have the potential to earn the chairman the endorsement.
Former D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute leader Ed Lazere had 20 votes to perennial candidate Calvin Gurley, the only African American in the race, who got eight. District Attorney General Karl Racine has no opponent in the Democratic primary and easily got past the 60 percent threshold.