Loose Lips

Ward 5 Votes to Replace Harry Thomas Jr.

Ward 5 Special Election

Ward 5 voters have a few hours left to get to the polls to pick a replacement for disgraced former Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., off to 38 months in federal prison soon for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from D.C. taxpayers. (Polls close at 8 p.m.)

Washington City Paper spoke to some voters in today's special election at Dunbar High School, home of the city's 19th precinct, about their choices. Both Kenyan McDuffie and Delano Hunter had volunteers at tables outside; there were also signs for candidates sticking up from every corner of the front lawn. A person working for Drew Hubbard's campaign twirled his sign and held it up as cars zoomed past him. An admittedly unscientific survey of some voters (and one candidate) follows:

• Name: Brenda Stewart

Voted for: McDuffie

Why: “My gut tells me he’s sincere and that he’s genuinely concerned about the community. Some of these other ones they got some really bad press. If you don’t make good choices in your personal life whether it’s your finances or otherwise I don’t see how in the world you’re going to make good choices for other people.”

• NamePeter Brown

Voted for: McDuffie

Why: “I’m more interested in competence because the other candidates lack competence. McDuffie is competent because he is a licensed attorney and has been practicing law for a long time.”

• NameGreg Bloom

Voted for: McDuffie

Why: “I don’t think he will commit crimes and go to jail. He just seems like a generally progressive guy. He seems thoughtful and interested in policy.”

• NameShirley Allen

Voted for: Frank Wilds

Why: “I’m tired of these young folks stealing money. I don’t know these younger guys. I’ve been here 34 years and I knew the father [former Councilmember Harry Thomas Sr.] and I liked him, then his son just messed up and I’m disappointed and like I said, I’d like to put somebody in there that’s older and hoping that they stay legit.”

• NameCheryl Stoney

Voted for: Hunter

Why: “He was raised in D.C., in the D.C. schools. He also has the best credentials concerning affordable housing.”

• NameAndrew Pendleton

Voted for: McDuffie

Why: “Not happy with Hunter’s position on gay marriage. I also met McDuffie at a meet-and-greet and liked his positions on transit issues.”

• NameChris Rodousakis

Voted for: McDuffie

Why: “He’s a federal prosecutor. He lives in our neighborhood. He’s older. He’s reliable. He has a family. The fact that he even has a platform is a big deal. His biggest opponents have been anti-gay-marriage. We have a lot of gay families with kids coming here. It’s not just that but we want someone who represents the entire ward.”

• NameNicole Wilds

Voted for: Wilds

Why: She's his daughter. “He’s a man of integrity. He’s a hard working person. He’s not doing this just to be a politician. He really cares about the young people in Ward 5. He really cares about the families in Ward 5. He raised our family in Ward 5. He’s been active in the community for 35 years.”

• Name: Kenyan McDuffie

Voted for: McDuffie

Why: If you don't vote for yourself, why run? “I’m running on enhancing education for children in D.C. as well as creating jobs through economic development. I’m also running on something that’s important to a lot of residents of Ward 5 and that restoring our faith in leadership and integrity.”

On being labeled a "progressive" choice: “I don’t generally label myself that way. I don’t take offense either. But I’ve been running an extremely inclusive campaign and reach out to everybody throughout the ward, whether it is our seniors, our youth, working families, single people in the city, and so we want to make sure we have leadership that is representative of all those interests."

Photo by Sudip Bhattacharya

Comments

  1. #1

    Nice article!

  2. #2

    I have to agree. Very simple and well done. I did laugh at, "She's his daughter."

  3. #3

    Just wondering if all these interviews took place at Dumbar?

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