Loose Lips

Michael Brown Wins in Ward 8

Former and would-be future Councilmember Michael Brown won the most votes from a very small turnout for the Ward 8 Democratic Party's at-large Council candidate forum Saturday, a result he said reflected his commitment to social issues that affect the city's poor and most in need of help.

"I fight for the issues that Ward 8 residents care about," Brown said after the forum, listing his top priorities as securing more affordable housing, providing better senior care, and finding employment for ex-offenders. "And I will continue to to that if I'm back on the Council."

Brown received 26 votes out of just more than 50 cast, which left him short of the 60 percent needed to get the Ward 8 endorsement. Such a small sample size makes it difficult to draw conclusions on how Ward 8—long the poorest ward in the city—might vote during next month's election. But Brown, who is looking to rebound after a poor citywide showing in November's election, says he's "obviously pleased" to have won.

Outside the forum at Imagine Southeast Public Charter School a small group of protestors, led by ex-offender rights advocate Al-Malik Farrakhan, were passing out literature to forum-goers denouncing Brown for voting against a bill proposed by Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry that would have extended civil rights protections to ex-offenders.

"Thumbs down to Michael Brown," the protesters chanted. Some of the literature they passed out noted that Brown "has faced legal and campaign finance concerns" and accused Brown of firing African-American staffers and replacing them with white staffers "to curry votes from voters" in predominantely white parts of the city.

Brown said he voted against Barry's bill because small business owners had expressed concerns it was "too penal" and said "there's no bigger advocate for returning citizens on the Council than me." He said he was not bothered by the protestors' attacks.

"Clearly, this is something that I enjoy, which is public service even with all the drama that comes with it," Brown told forumgoers. "I think you have to sacrifice yourself for your beliefs. And my beliefs are trying to make sure, as a third generation Washingtonian, making sure this city stays the way I remember it."

The next highest vote getter was Councilmember Anita Bonds, who brought with her a small army of young staffers who had recently worked on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. Bonds, who has the backing of Barry, won 15 votes. She emphasized that it was a small turnout from an organization that was "trying its best to be engaged in this election season" that didn't necessary represent how Ward 8 will vote during the actual election.

Barry instructed LL not to write a story with the headline: "Marion Barry failed to deliver" and noted that Brown has better citywide name recognition than Bonds does. The other three Democrats in the race, former LL Elissa Silverman, Ward 3 ANC member Matthew Frumin, and lawyer Paul Zukerberg, all had single-digit vote counts.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • duh

    come on ll, muriel bowser declared for the mayor's race. where you at?

  • tony

    Michael Brown can not win this election. He has too many negatives. This a man who just lost to an unknown David Grosso by more than 20,000 votes.

    The Ward 8 dems vote is meaningless and is not indicative of anything. Ron Moten delivered the ward 8 straw vote to Fenty and Fenty lost Ward 8 by a landslide in the election.

  • looseygoosey

    what's sad about this story is that Anita's Chief of Staff Charles Wilson didn't even show up to vote! and he lives in Ward 8. Where were his R.E.E.L. members when he needed them to come out and vote for his freakin boss?! That is just such an easy win and the fact that her campaign didn't maximize on its own connections shows a lack of leadership...

  • Dan


    I think u r right. It depends on which candidate can get the people out to vote. Mayor Barry may be able to help her mobilize to get out the vote. Ms Bonds needs HELP

  • Smh

    The only people Anita Bonds has to blame is her campaign staff that are ripping her off. Kouri Marshall and his team of DNC hacks are only there for a paycheck. They don't know shit about DC.

  • Wait, What?

    Ward 8 Dems vote for moron - again. Is there news here somewhere?

  • RealDC

    Bonds' campaign has no "pulse"! Even Barry can't save her.

    Every Indian should not be a chief and every political hack/hanger-on is not electable to office.

    Sorry Bonds, your council gig will be up in 33 days, enjoy it! You can go back to making the DSC into a "first-class" outfit that it has become under your guidance as Tony says about you!

    Anyway, "get your hat and coat and LEAVE"!!-Can I get a R.E. beat and Lil Bennie on mic on that.

  • tony

    Anita Bonds is getting alot help and she will win this election in spite of the haters!

  • Pingback: Wilson Building camera chase!

  • Ward 6 Resident

    Sorry Tony, but I think you are wrong. As an Anita Bonds supporter I am shocked at the lack of professionalism being exhibited by her campaign. As someone with over 30 years of service in DC, why did Anita have to go to a campaign manager whose only claim to fame is his stint as the Obama campaign manager in DC which required no effort or knowledge of the city; why did she need to hire a deputy campaign manager who resides in Arlington Virginia and knows squat about DC politics; why was her campaign so late in creating a web site, raising funds and has yet to print campaign material. Ms Bonds speaks as a political voice and of a time best represented in the 70s and 80s.

    So far, she and her campaign have been a major disappointment and the defeat in Ward 8 cannot be explained away. Fortunately for her, the opposition seem to be equally as flawed.

  • tony

    Ward 6 Resident, Yeah all that may be true but from where I come you just don't quit on your peeps.

  • NE John

    He looks somewhat scrambled, but it's over easy for Mr. Brown now until the easter hunt, where he will be boiled alive.