There are so many to choose from! A strong incumbent system and a general lack of interest among potential competitors means that even the worst advisory neighborhood commissioners can hang onto their seats for decades. Whether your taste runs to mailing-list feuds, obstinate opposition to any new development, or unregistered firearms, D.C.’s 299 ANC seats offer dysfunction for every taste.
Sadly for students of ANC mischief, the 2012 elections really thinned the field. Leroy Thorpe, a former ANC2C commissioner known for slinging racial and homophobic slurs and praising the 9/11 attacks as “a great day for America,” lost his campaign to retake the seat by just 20 votes. Thorpe also once called Councilmember Jack Evans a “blond-haired cracker.”
2012 also saw the elimination of Lenwood Johnson, a Columbia Heights ANC commissioner who, had he retained his seat, would easily be the worst in D.C. In 2010, police raided his home after he admitted to Washington City Paper he owned an unregistered gun. Right before he was ousted, the Washington Post caught Johnson using a government-issued cell phone to call phone-sex lines. Johnson even earned his own catchphrase when he told an angry constituent that he should “be embarrassed by your own bitchassness.”
But while 2012 was a cruel year for the worst commissioners, there are still plenty of worthy contenders. ANC5C commissioner GiGi Ransom earned a censure from her own commission in 2009 for, among a laundry list of neighborhood-level misdeeds, refusing several orders of business cards and requesting government-funded office furniture for her own house. Meanwhile, police were called to a polling place when ANC5D’s Kathy Henderson allegedly electioneered illegally.
Ultimately, I can’t make this decision for you. Naming the worst ANC commissioner in Washington is a personal decision, left up to District residents. Personally, as a Georgetown University alumnus, I’d nominate the entire Georgetown ANC for stymying students’ love of partying. So pick an ANC commissioner who has slighted you in some way and carry that grudge to your grave. Isn’t that what local politics is all about?