With voters due to decide June 19 on their parties’ nominees for important positions, our association is sponsoring a public session next Tuesday evening with candidates for two major positions, chairman of the D.C. Council and an at-large council member, who is elected in a citywide vote.
We expect the Democratic candidates for both positions to attend. Because of the preponderance of registered Democrats in D.C., the primary election often is the most important in selecting the winner in the November general election.
Running for council chair are incumbent Phil Mendelson, Ed Lazere and Calvin H. Gurley. Candidates for at-large council member are incumbent Anita Bonds, Marcus Goodwin, Aaron Holmes and Jeremiah Lowery.
Mendelson has been a council member for 20 years and chairman since 2012. He told the Washington City Paper, “My race is one about leadership, because that is what the chairman of the council is, a leader.”
He noted that council chairs normally have previously served on the council.
Lazere, who is on leave as director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, told the City Paper that he is focusing his campaign on issues of homelessness, gentrification and racial equity. He criticized Mendelson for putting “a high priority on tax cuts that have made it hard to put investments in other things.”
Gurley is an accountant who has lost races for mayor, council chair and a ward representative on the council.
In the at-large race, Bonds, 73, is a veteran politician who has served on the council since 2012 and chairs the committee on housing and neighborhood revitalization. She is challenged by three millennials: Goodwin, who works for a real estate development company; Lowery, an organizer at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network; and Holmes, who works for a communications firm and ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2016.
On April 17, there will be a meet-and-greet opportunity with the candidates starting at 6:45 p.m. The session with the at-large candidates will begin at 7 p.m., and the discussion with the chairman candidates starts at 8 p.m. The event will be at the Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Ave. NW. Light refreshments will be available.
— Ted Gest