Another Woman on the Council?

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There is a new woman who joins the District’s council as an interim At-Large member, Anita Bonds.  Bonds was selected by the D.C. Democratic State Committee on Monday December 10, 2012 to fill the vacant seat of newly elected Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.  She will have to face more contenders in the April 23rd special election.

Bonds’ interim appointment makes her the fourth female on the male dominated 14-member council.  She joins Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and Yvette Alexander (D- Ward 7).

Bonds currently serves as the chair of the State Committee, but has been a political powerhouse for years- serving under former council members as their chief of staff, running local campaigns, and advising former mayors.

She has the political clout and was able to garner 55 of the total 77 votes cast in the interim selection by the State Committee, beating out former committee member John Capozzi and former candidate for U.S. Delegate against Eleanor Holmes Norton, Douglass Sloan.

Now that she has won the committee’s sponsorship, she will sit on the council for the last legislative session and will run in the primary as the incumbent in the special election.

Bonds has been closely associated with former mayor-turned Councilmember Marion Barry, advising him through some of his roughest times in office, but has also advised former mayors Sharon Pratt Kelly and Anthony Williams.  She also recently helped advise the former and now fallen council chair Kwame Brown, who resigned amid bank fraud charges from the FBI.

Bonds’ election was expected and was swift.  However, she will have real fight in the special election in April.  She will go against former interim councilmember Sekou Biddle, former At-Large councilmember Michael Brown, former runner Patrick Mara and newcomer A.J. Cooper.  Brown was unseated in the fall by David Grosso and is fighting to get back on the council.

She has stated that she is running because there is a dearth of women that represent the council and she would like to see more gender representation.  Now 67, with lots of political experience the city will see the shift of gender begin to take place.

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