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D.C. Race Roundup: Charles Allen Secures Ward 6 Council Seat
Posted at 11:55 a.m. on April 2
Ward 6 Democrats picked Charles Allen to replace his former boss, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, in Tuesday’s primary election.
Opponent Darrel Thompson, who resigned his post in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office to launch his campaign, officially conceded the race around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, with D.C. Board of Elections results showing Allen leading by fewer than 2,000 votes.
Wells applauded his former chief of staff around midnight, when Allen opened up a double-digit point lead in the race.
“I congratulate my opponent for a hard-fought nomination and hope to work with him to make sure that all of our neighborhoods receive the progress they deserve,” Thompson said in a Wednesday morning statement thanking his supporters.
Thompson’s concession came after a long, slow vote count that frustrated many election watchers.
At noon, Democratic mayoral nominee Muriel Bowser will speak at the National Press Club on her victory and the need for party unity in the campaign for the general election.
Opponent David Catania, who is running as an independent, called Bowser on Wednesday to congratulate her on defeating Mayor Vincent Gray.
“We just witnessed a primary focused on who should not be Mayor,” Catania said in a statement. “Today, we begin a discussion on who should be Mayor. I look forward to a substantive discussion about the future our city between now and November 4.”
While the mayor’s race commanded most of the attention Tuesday night, some other important elections appeared on the April 1 D.C. primary ballot, including a hotly contested citywide race.
At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds successfully fended off three Democratic challengers, collecting 52 percent of the vote. D.C. Shadow Rep. Nate Bennett-Fleming tried to take his congressional experience to the John A. Wilson Building with a bid against the incumbent, and finished with 22 percent. John Settles and Pedro Rubio split the rest of the vote in the campaign to unseat Bonds.
In Ward 1, which encompasses some of the most densely populated parts of Northwest, Democrats backed Brianne Nadeau over incumbent D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham. She beat Graham by more than 1,700 votes, about 18 percent of the total cast. He was running for a fifth term representing Columbia Heights and U Street. Ethics questions made Graham especially vulnerable.
Nadeau was backed by Democracy for America. Jim Dean, chairman of the progressive group, said her “upset victory” marked “the start of a new generation of political leaders in D.C. committed to ending Wilson Building corruption, winning full representation and delivering on a bold, progressive agenda for DC’s working families.”
Nadeau faces a bid from independent candidate Bryan Weaver in the November general election.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie all cruised to victory.
For Congress, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. ran unopposed. D.C. Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss bested his opponent, Pete Ross, by winning nearly 60 percent of the vote. Franklin Garcia replaces Bennett-Fleming as the District’s shadow representative.
The April 1 primary leaves losing incumbents like Graham as lame ducks for eight months. Officials have suggested they’d like to push the early primary date further into the calendar year.
Previously held in September, the primary was moved up following the 2010 election to conform to federal law timelines for primary and general elections. Turnout was reported low in both early voting and throughout the city on Tuesday.