At 5pm on Wednesday, the deadline expired for filing nominating petitions, petition supplements, and Declaration of Candidacy and Affirmation of Qualifications with the DC Board of Elections for the September 14, 2010 primary. And the Democratic candidates are....
Seven of the thirteen candidates who picked up nominating petitions to run for mayor actually filed. In addition to incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty and Council Chairperson Vince Gray, other candidates for mayor include former reporter Leo Alexander, Whitehouse party crasher Carlos Allen, Sulaimon Brown, Michael T. Green, and Ernest Johnson. In a very tight race between Fenty and Gray, could these challengers pull away enough votes to effect the outcome? Should DC require runoff elections where no candidate receives 50% of the vote?
In addition to Kwame Brown and Vincent Orange, Dorothy Douglas and Calvin Gurley are also running for DC Council Chairperson. I've seen a few signs up for Calvin Gurley, who lives in Takoma Park. He apparently pushed for a voting initiative he entitled the "Mr. Bill Cosby’s Age 18 House Rule" in 2004, which would have cut off a parents' obligation to make child support payments at 18, rather than 21. Dorothy Douglas is an activist who lives in Deanwood and is currently a member of the State Board of Education.
At Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson faces a strong challenge from former Parks and Rec Director Clark Ray. Two others, Will Rossand and Michael Brown, are running. Michael Brown? I'm confused. Is another Michael Brown seeking a seat on the Council? Yes, it is Michael D. Brown, the District's "Shadow Senator." (the current at-large member, Michael A. Brown, obtained the seat as an independent and is not up for reelection until 2012). New rule: 2 Browns on the Council is enough, and if Gray and Orange get elected... we'll probably have the more colorful legislative body in the nation.
In Ward 1, incumbent Jim Graham, a popular councilmember who has nevertheless been plagued with controversies from limiting the hours of Jumbo Slice to his chief of staff being indicted for excepting bribes from the taxi cab industry, faces two challengers: Jeff Smith and Bryan Weaver.
Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, after completing her first term, is unopposed. Seems that folks on the western side of town like her focus on healthy foods and animal rights, and her tough talk to Attorney General Peter Nickles.
Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, also a first term councilmember who replaced Vincent Orange after he decided to run for Mayor, faces four opponents: Kathy Henderson, a former Historic Preservation Review Board Member and ANC Commissioner; Delano Hunter; Kenyan McDuffie, and Tracey D. Turner. I'm disappointed to see that George “Action” Jackson did not file his nominating petition. You know what they say... all talk...
Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells faces two opponents - Randy Brown and Kelvin Robinson.
Finally, Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton faces a challenge from Douglas Sloan. After ten terms in office and the most recent failure of voting rights for the District in Congress, will residents opt for new blood?
These aren't necessarily the people you'll see on the September ballot. The Board will make a preliminary determination of their eligibility this Monday, July 12 and consider any challenges to petitions until August 3.