By LeMara Perry
Over the past 45 days, the field of hopefuls looking to fill the Ward 8 council member seat that was vacated by the late Marion Barry has grown to nearly 20. However, LaRuby May has separated herself from the pack and has emerged as the front runner.
May, a native of Pensacola, Florida, has lived in DC since 1997. With history of extensive legislative experience in office of Councilmember Marion Barry, prominence in the development of affordable housing for seniors, and a substantial track record of educating children and employing young adults and returning citizens, May is well on her way to achieving victory at the polls in the April 28th special election.
As a lawyer who is accustomed to building partnerships to accomplish community goals, she has created a team, affectionately known as May4Ward8, that runs like a well-oiled machine. According to social media, her team is so efficient and effective at what it does that it has “embedded her name in the psyche of the residents of Ward 8.” Together with her team, she has canvassed neighborhoods, connected with constituents, and received tremendous support from businesses and residents alike. She has gained so much momentum and support that she earned the endorsements of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser as well as Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.
During her endorsement speech of May, Mayor Bowser recognized May’s community influence in the Ward 8 during the mayoral campaign. Specifically, she acknowledged that “winning the Ward 8 straw poll was a pivotal moment that changed the course of the race” and that Ward 8 voters contributed significantly to Bowser’s win. The Mayor indicated that she is very familiar with the field of candidates running for the vacant seat and stated, “I know the best candidate running and her name is LaRuby May.” Bowser highlighted May’s vast achievements including her chairmanship of the DC Housing Authority, her family services outreach, and her development of community-focused laws. Bowser commended May for investing in the residents of Ward 8 and for delivering community-oriented solutions such as employing returning citizens and young adults in her child development center as well as sending her staff to college.
May addressed the crowd of supporters and said, “I have been working with and serving the people in this ward the entire time I have been here. Long before I started running for the Ward 8 seat, I have been doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do…So8MayRise!” Residents of Ward 8 (including single parents, returning citizens, seniors, and children) honored May with testimonials of the positive impact she has had on their lives and the far-reaching constructive influence she has had on the community for almost two decades.
May’s campaign is co-chaired by three former city councilmembers including Honorable Sandy Allen (Ward 8), Honorable Arrington Dixon (Ward 4, At-Large), and Honorable Eydie Whittington (Ward 8). Councilmember Nadeau praised May for “her public service centered social reform efforts on public policy and finance.” As well, May has won the endorsements of many Ward 8 community leaders.
Last week May after collecting over 3,000 and submitted 1000 valid signatures to secure her place on the special election ballot. Backed by over $175,000 raised since her December candidacy filing date, a few major endorsements, and the sponsorship of several key supporters, LaRuby May has emerged as the leading candidate heading into the April 28th election.