The District held its Democratic Primary on April 3rd with several candidates across the city running against new opponents and others running unopposed.
Ward 2 Council Member Jack Evans (D) easily won unopposed, while Muriel Bowser (D-W4), Yvette Alexander (D-W7) and Marion Barry (D-W8) each won their reelection bids, beating out would-be challengers.
In Ward 7, Republican candidate and former Peach-a-holics head, Ronald Moten beat his competitor, Don Folden by 35 votes, in a low voting turnout. Moten received 61 votes, 70% of the total and Folden received 26 votes, 30% of the total. Moten will square off with Alexander in the fall’s general election.
There’s still one more race to be decided. There is a special election, taking place in Ward 5, where top competitors are Kenyan McDuffie and Delano Hunter. Hunter recently won the straw poll within the ward, but McDuffie isn’t giving him an easy fight. Tuesday May 15th is the date of the Ward 5 special election to replace embattled Harry Thomas, Jr., who resigned from his seat earlier in the year amid scandal of ethical violations.
At- Large Race
In a hotly contested race for the At-Large Seat, Vincent Orange beat out top contender Sekou Biddle, in an election that required a recount because the votes were too close to call. Initially, Orange pulled off a slight victory beating Biddle by 543 votes in a 41% victory over Biddle’s 40% close call. However, there were still nearly 5,000 provisional or absentee ballots lingering. After the final count, Orange beat Biddle by 1, 746 votes, with Biddle conceding the race to Orange.
During a spring special election in 2011, Orange coasted to victory beating then sitting-Council Member Sekou Biddle. Biddle was chosen by the D.C. Democratic State Committee to take the seat of former At-Large Council Member Kwame Brown (D), after he won the Council Chair race in the fall primary of 2010 and general election in November 2010. Brown and Mayor Gray (D), both of whom were embroiled in scandal, supported Biddle. Many believe his association with the two was his downfall to officially securing the seat in the special election race. Brown was being criticized for requesting a “Fully Loaded” SUV soon after taking office as the new council chair and wasting tax payers dollars by sending an SUV back to the dealer because it wasn’t the black-on-black interior that he requested or “fully loaded.”
Mayor Gray was under investigation that he paid Sulaimon Brown, a former candidate for mayor, to criticize his then top opponent former Mayor Adrian Fenty in the 2010 election. He was also alleged to have paid residents for votes through the form of money orders and gift cards. Both theses scandals associated with Kwame Brown and Mayor Gray affected the vote for Biddle. Voters overwhelmingly said that there was a ‘culture of corruption’ that seemed to exist on the council and voting for Biddle was a step further in the wrong direction.
Fast-forward to 2012 and the tables have turned. Vincent Orange had a tough race for the At-Large seat this time because of a closely associated scandal to his name. one of the city’s biggest political donors, Jeffrey E. Thompson has been under an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and has had his home raided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Thompson and his companies have donated at least $100,000 in the past decade to Orange, a former Ward 5 council member. When asked about his association to Thompson, Orange was forthcoming about the donations he received from him. Orange stated that Thompson had donated over $26,000 dollars to his 2011 campaign, through the form of money orders and cashier checks.
During this year’s primary Biddle and his supporters hit Orange hard with ethics violations and campaign contribution reform. However, Orange fought back.
Results show that this at-large race was widely divided amongst the wards. Orange dominated the vote in predominately African-American wards, 7, 8 and 5, while Biddle pulled the vote in Ward 3, predominately White.