Loose Lips

Sekou Biddle: “I Was Running to Win”

There are victory parties for winners, and there are consolation parties for losers. And then there are parties where at first, no one realizes their candidate ended the night down 543 votes with 100 percent of ballots counted (except absentee votes, of which there were seven times as many as the winning margin), because the local news station's 11 p.m. broadcast cut away from its coverage of the race to cover tornados in Texas and never bothered updating when the results were in.

Such was Sekou Biddle's election night party on Georgia Avenue Tuesday night: Anticlimactic, anxious, and—when the subject of also-ran Peter Shapiro came up—a little angry.

Shapiro and Biddle supporters had feuded during the campaign over which of the two was the most viable challenger to incumbent Vincent Orange, but when the initial count Tuesday night was done, the answer to that particular question was settled. Biddle got 20,661 votes, less than one percentage point behind Orange's 21,184. Shapiro? 5,608 votes—good for only 10.5 percent of the tally, but also ten times the number of votes that Orange ended the night ahead by.

So did that make Shapiro the spoiler? Biddle wasn't quite ready for recriminations; after all, with more than 3,800 absentee ballots out (more of which were, reportedly, sent to Biddle-friendly wards than Orange's turf), plus provisional ballots, the final total could be different. But he wasn't quite ready for graciousness, either.

"I think you should ask him that question," Biddle said Tuesday night, when I asked him at his party whether he thought Shapiro should have quit the race earlier. "I was running to win. I did everything I could do to win. I think you should ask him that question, and the people he talked to about being in the race should ask him that question. Clearly, he was not anywhere near a position to win this race."

Shapiro couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

It's worth noting, though, that E. Gail Anderson Holness, a Ward 1 resident who preaches at a Ward 4 church, drew 3,863 votes, or 7.2 percent of the total. If it's fair to assume that some of Shapiro's voters would have gone to Biddle if Shapiro wasn't in the race (and maybe it's not), it's probably also fair to assume that Holness' support could have hurt Orange.

Should Orange—whose political benefactor, Jeff Thompson, recently had his home and offices raided by federal agents pursuing investigations into D.C. campaign finances—wind up winning the nomination for another term, though, you can probably expect the recriminations among his opponents to last until Orange leaves the D.C. Council.

Meanwhile, what will Biddle do until the absentee ballots and provisional votes are counted?

"I  don’t know," he said. "I planned to take tomorrow off... It'll be an interesting ten days."

Photo by @ChuckThies via Twitter

  • SEis4ME

    eventually got sick of it after 40 years service and retired.

    Seems to me that your twin uncles got sick and tired of it all "once" they were able to cash out.

  • NE John

    stop splitting hairs seis4me. One had what we used to call "the nerves" and his hands would shake extra hard every time we mentioned Barry.

  • josh is great

    Josh is great, not a racist at all. You need to check yourself. Joshua Lopez is a member of a black fraternity too

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  • Race Matters

    @josh; voting for Josh Lopez would be like voting for George Zimmerman. I don't care if he's a member of the Kappas. Remember George Zimmerman had a so called black friend that went on national television by saying, George is a great person to have as a friend, but he gun down Trayvon Martin because in his mind, only black men are criminals and white is right. This is how a lot of racist white and light skin Hispanics think. I know for a fact, many Hispanics are racist towards blacks and in D.C., there are tension between blacks and Salvadorans.

  • Race Matters

    @Josh is great; I would never vote for Josh Lopez. Josh supports illegal aliens right to work in D.C. and in this country. Black unemployment is high for black U.S. citizens. I will never support illegal immigration or illegal aliens causes. This is the problem with liberal progressive Democrats. All Democrats aren't liberal and support illegal immigration or illegal aliens right to work in the U.S.

  • Why Lie I Need A Beer

    Is it true that Mike Debonis of the Washington Post is dating Biddle's Press Secretary. The same girl that was Fenty's 2010 press secretary and former Alum from Oberlin College? Does this raise a red flag or not?

    Biddle you have some questions to answer DUDE!

  • Georgetown Lady

    Josh Lopez will never win an election in the city. People need to realize that not everyone walking around doing something for the community is fit to be a candidate for a political seat. The majority of these "candidates" should stick to being ANC Commissioners.

  • Ward 2 Voter

    I think the Washington Post screwed up big time with this Debonis dating Biddle's press secretary situation. It is hard for me to accept their claim that the articles were in favor of a balanced opinion.

    Can we even say that Biddle is the best candidate? Especially from a whishy-washy endorsement from the Washington Post?

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    who is this sekou biddle person? I was approached at the Giant food store on alabama ave. about 2 or 3 years ago by a caucasian male with a petition to get his name on the ballot for some thing. Of course I did not sign the petition. Who is he?

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    I have been living in DC for 72 years, I am so sick of DC politics I don't know what to do with myself. I did not vote in the most recent election because they all are a bunch of thieves.

    Marion Barry retire and go home and get yourself well.

    Kwame Brown I am ashamed of you. I voted for you.

    Vincent Gray I am disappointed in you. I voted for you.

    Never again!!

  • gitchafaxstr8

    @Lie: OOOOOHHHH!! What a brave person you are. You slapped the papers out of the petitioner's hand and walked away. That act in itself negates anything you have to say as far as I'm concerned. A 19 y/o temper tantrum to what end?

    @NEJohn: No one is ever kidding. That pipe you suck on explains your mental condition. What did the Feds say about that when you were working for them? Your twin uncles, .....well, I'll leave them out of it since you're the obvious nut in the family.