Loose Lips

Creeping Pessimism at Silverman HQ

Elissa Silverman's D.C. Council Victory Party Turning Glum

The Union Kitchen spread is chocolaty and delicious and the Porkslap free-flowing, but there's a growing sense of unease at Elissa Silverman's election-night party as the at-large D.C. Council returns trickle in. Silverman's currently in a solid second place, but 10 percentage points behind incumbent Anita Bonds with more than half of precincts reporting.

So how does Silverman (a former Washington City Paper staffer, and the paper's endorsed candidate in today's election, pictured above with supporter Rob Waldeck at the party) feel about her chances? She's noncommittal. "I ran a very strong campaign, and that was my goal, to change the discussion in the special election," she says. "We didn't have any of the party institutional resources that Anita and Pat [Mara] did."

Asked if she thought she had a realistic chance of winning going into the evening, she says, "I thought it depended where the votes came from and what the turnout was like."

But for her uncertainty about the outcome, she's clear on one thing: The media got it all wrong. "I don't want to rant about how you got this wrong," she says, then proceeds to do exactly that. "'This is a race between Anita and Pat,'" she says, mocking the conventional wisdom. Instead, Mara's struggled to meet expectations, while Silverman's comfortably in second place. "There was such a focus on Ward 3," she says, "and my base is Ward 6."

Two councilmembers have turned out to support Silverman: David Grosso, who was the only one to endorse her, and Tommy Wells, who did not endorse, saying tonight that he didn't want to turn this race into a proxy for a future mayoral race between himself and Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, who had backed Bonds. I ask Grosso why he chose to endorse Silverman when most of his colleagues went with frontrunner Bonds.

"I went with the one I thought would do the best job and would work well with me," he says.

That's if she succeeds in working with him at all. As of now, the odds are against it.

Photo by Aaron Wiener

  • DC Guy

    Impressive run, particularly in Ward 1.

  • JGK

    Well done Elissa. FWIW, I talked to about 25-30 friends yesterday, all in Wards 1 and 2, about the election. They all knew who Elissa was and were planning to vote for her. I don't think this is significant except that many of them don't follow local politics and I was impressed at her name recognition. For someone w/o a ton of money and institutional backing, she really got noticed and ran a good campaign.

  • http://digbyrose.com Rob

    Great race! You'll have to thank Ralph Alswang for putting your name in front of me. I'm new to the District and have a limit of what I can hear from a DC politician's campaign, so I rely on my friends to keep me up to date and the City Paper.

  • Thunder

    Hope she runs for the Ward 6 Council seat.

  • noodlez2: electric bugaloo

    ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO RAISE TAXES WHEN THE DC BUDGET GROWS AND GROWS EVERY YEAR WILL BE DEFEATED. THANK THE LAWD.

  • drez

    Elissa did very well.

  • Name Calling

    Chuck Thies is a clown penis.

  • Wrack

    Ha! So true.

  • Concerned Senior

    Hey Drez, looks like you're on the wrong side again.

    Elissa Lost!!!!!

    Anita WON!!!!!

    Congratulations Anita!!!!!!!

  • FormerBrownSupporter

    It is a great day for black washingtonians today! Now we can address affrodable housing, Rent control, crime, job training programs, ex offender programs, Youth empowerment programs, summer jobs, afterschool year round programs for youth. MYOPIC LITTLE TWITS ARE SO SAD TODAY! Never underestimate the power of Anita Bonds and the Blacks the city!
    One city! In the words of Nene Leakes..."BLOOP!"

  • truth hurts

    Any truth to the rumor that Jonetta, Thies, and Armao are scheduled to appear on FOX? Something about "Liberal mainstream media bias" and Mara not getting fair news coverage?

  • Washingtonian

    As someone with deep family and political roots in Washington, DC - I would "seriously consider" supporting Silverman for her next run. I have nothing against Anita, and I have not entirely ruled her out for future consideration. As an alternative, Silverman has the right grasp of the issues; she appears to have the required sensitivity; and her general background just makes her a good candidate. I am troubled by the quality (and lack of experience) of those appointed as agency heads. I am disappointed terribly at Mayor Gray's refusal to see and act on those who are bad managers. Better oversight is needed by the council to expose such inefficiencies and the out-and-out negligence. Right now, the public is the loser and they are paying a lot of money for their losses. Silverman may be able to bring additional efficiency and competence to the Council. Anita has a lot of experience and I expect she will do well also.

  • AERzondzinska

    FormerBrownSupporter: What's been stopping the Black mayors and Council members from tackling all these problems thus far?

  • AERzondzinska

    FormerBrownSupporter: What's been stopping the Black mayors and Council members from tackling all these problems ("affrodable housing, Rent control, crime, job training programs, ex offender programs, Youth empowerment programs, summer jobs, afterschool year round programs for youth") thus far?

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