Loose Lips

Senate Staffer Launches Ward 6 Exploratory Committee

Attachment-1The race to replace mayoral hopeful  Tommy Wells in his Ward 6 D.C. Council seat could soon have its first entrant. Darrel Thompson, a staffer for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, filed papers for an exploratory committee yesterday.

Thompson, a 43-year-old native Washingtonian, works as Reid's Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs. Thompson tells LL that he's basing his potential run for office, first reported by Hill Rag, on jobs, education, and crime reduction.

"If we're out walking the dog at Lincoln Park, people should be able to know that something bad's not going to happen to you on your way home," Thompson says.

Since Wells is running for mayor, he won't be able to hang on to his seat, which is also on the ballot next year.

Thompson might not have the field to himself for long. Charles Allen, Wells' chief of staff, is also frequently discussed as a potential contender. Via email, Allen tells LL he hasn't decided yet on a run.

Thompson's full press release below:

Darrel Thompson is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs to U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. In this role, Mr. Thompson advises the Majority Leader on national labor and employment issues, such as workplace rules and regulations, business and labor negotiations, job growth and protection, social justice issues involving the faith and African-American communities, and issues before the Senate that affect the District of Columbia. Mr. Thompson’s unique position with Majority Leader Reid has also placed him at the forefront of numerous debates and issues involving transportation, renewable energy, health care, education, women, labor, housing, and economic development.
Prior to joining Senator Reid, he was the Chief of Staff for the Barack Obama for U.S. Senate campaign. Mr. Thompson also served as the Finance Chief of Staff and National Political Advisor for Congressman Richard Gephardt’s 2004 presidential campaign. Additionally, he served in several senior positions over a five-year period during Mr. Gephardt’s tenure as House Democratic Leader. Mr. Thompson was also the Deputy Executive Director of the House Democratic Caucus.
Prior to his official congressional service, Mr. Thompson was the Financial Services Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) where he was responsible for all political fundraising operations. During his three-year period at the DCCC, he consulted for over 100 congressional campaigns on fundraising, campaign operations, and voter turnout. He has also managed and served as senior staff on legislative, congressional, and gubernatorial campaigns.
Thompson was born in Washington, DC and raised in both the District and Baltimore, Maryland. He has lived in the District for nearly 20 years and he and his wife, Dr. Britt Weinstock, reside in the NE section of Capitol Hill. He holds a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Political Science from Morgan State University.
Darrel Thompson filed an Exploratory Committee August 21, 2013, for Ward 6 City Council. He hopes to make a decision in the very near future about whether to become a candidate for office. Darrel was born in the District of Columbia and has lived on Capitol Hill for almost 20 years. He’s exploring a run for City Council because he believes that the future of Ward 6 and the District of Columbia needs new leadership and new ideas in order to overcome new and existing challenges.
Darrel’s experience handling issues affecting the District of Columbia in Congress, along with public service at nearly every level of government, gives him a new broader outlook on the challenges facing Ward 6. He is considering the race because he believes in achieving a brighter
future for Ward 6 and in achieving this; he believes that new leaders must foster an environment that enhances economic opportunities for all its residents. To Darrel, this means meaningful job prospects at every skill level, and growing our neighborhoods, without leaving long-time residents behind. To Darrel, a brighter future means that new leaders must ensure that our public schools, from K-12 through higher education, continue to improve so parents are not burdened with the high cost of private school tuition, or feel compelled to leave the neighborhoods we all love to seek a high-quality education for their children.
This brighter future also means new leaders must work to ensure safety and security so that all residents in Ward 6 can enjoy a safe jog or walk of the dogs, and carefree time with family and friends throughout our many great neighborhoods.
As he explores running, he looks forward to meeting more of the neighbors and is eager to listen and learn of their concerns so that he can begin to design a short- and long-term strategy to bring brighter and safer days to Ward 6.

Photo courtesy Darrel Thompson

  • Nikita

    That's interesting. Pretty nice resume for a DC Councilmember. Senate staffer and Harvard. If he's elected, he'll be the smartest guy on the Council. (Mary Che has academic credentials but she has never had a job outside academia.)

  • drez

    The smartest? Please.
    Resume isnt intellegence.
    Jim Graham, if memory serves, went to Hah-vad, and clerked in the Supreme Court.

  • drez

    And being able to name a major park and concern in Ward 6 hardly qualifies as local experience.
    I imagine he can fundraiser like Reta, though.

  • Barry Morase


  • SEis4ME

    Well of COURSE you would question the man's intelligence even DESPITE his quite credentialed career which actually IS the more impressive than those on the entire the council.

    An impressive black candidate much like the former GC of the US House whose competence you also questioned.

    What's wrong? You mad bro?

  • George

    Yes, it is very important to know whether he's smarter than Jim Graham. We must have the two face off in chess or something.

  • name

    I really don't want job opportunities at every economic level. I want people who value their education enough to get good grades and find something useful to do with themselves in a highly competitive city. Everyone else can move back to Georgia.

    There are already too many opportunities to be tradesman that are squandered by young and old alike. People who don't want to work, aren't going to work no matter how much "workforce training" you create.

  • noodlez

    IF . . .
    HE RUNS.
    HE WINS.

  • JIMofWard6

    Thompson would be a breath of fresh air on the Council. He actually knows how a serious legislature (the US Senate) works.

  • cminus

    @JIMofWard6, I agree that Thompson seems like an attractive candidate, but let's not get carried away. The Senate may be a serious legislature when compared with the House of Representatives, but it looks like a bunch of clowns when compared with, say, a middle school student government.

  • tony


    agreed,,,give him a chance.

  • FormerBrownSupporter

    I like him already!

  • Ida Gaines

    Darrel not only has the academic credentials he has the drive and zeal to make a great public servant.

  • Cat on K Street

    Hmm given the landscape of Ward 6, the words uphill climb on an oil paved surface comes to mind.

    It is not a ward that likes new comers. Sure he is impressive on paper and they are going to tell him that...you would be great for ANC but... I have never heard of you.

    I can't think of a constituency that he would have a built in Ward 6 base.

  • Blevins

    Seems like a good candidate - this Ward 6 voter is excited to hear more about him.

  • DC Business Owner

    The deficit in educational credentials and real world expertise on the council presently scares me. As a DC business owner, Darrel's skills and experience would be most welcome in the proper administration of the District's affairs.

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  • george

    Business owner: He has a masters from the Kennedy School, what do you want exactly?

  • dcforme

    New comer? He was born here and lived in 6 for nearly 20 years!

  • Francis

    Sure, Darrel Thompson has an extremely impressive CV, as well as a very solid sense of how to get things done in the policy and political realms. However, to the degree that all of those factors are impressive, to an even greater degree is it exciting to FINALLY have a candidate who is running for Ward 6 Council to really make a positive difference. I have run into Darrel many times -usually while he is walking his dog or shopping at Eastern Market - and not only is he approachable and humble, but he has no interest in continuing to sit idle while bad and negative politics thwart the passage of sound and thoughtful policies that will serve to the betterment of those who live in Ward 6. He does not come across as someone who expects to win; he does not seem to be someone who feels entitled to this. He, instead, seems genuinely interested and fully prepared to put himself out there in a public way; to meet with Ward 6 residents and to listen to and talk WITH them (instead of talking AT them); and to take on all of the hard work that is and will be required to win. He has my vote; he has my support; and, I know that I am making the right decision!