Loose Lips

“Shadow Staffer” Darrel Thompson Launches Ward 6 Run

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Ward 6 candidate Darrel Thompson says he wants to shake up the Wilson Building. To prove it, he led the audience at his campaign launch on Sunday in a whopping seven call-and-response demands for "new leadership." It'd be the makings of a classic anti-incumbent campaign, if only he had an incumbent to run against.

Current Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells is too busy running for mayor to hang on to his current seat. Instead, the speeches at Thompson's launch on the roof of Barracks Row's Cava Mezze restaurant seemed aimed at likely candidate and former Wells chief of staff Charles Allen.

Introducing Thompson, attorney Johnny Barnes lamented that certain unnamed people didn't have a good reason to run for the D.C. Council. "It's not a good reason to run because you have been in the Wilson Building," says Barnes, who went on to compare Thompson to "a new broom" for sweeping out corruption.

If the reform messaging doesn't work for you, Thompson and his unfortunately named Team Thompson campaign have something else: his background in the federal government. Thompson, who worked as the chief of staff on Barack Obama's 2004 Senate campaign, recently quit his job as a staffer for Sen. Harry Reid.

When he still worked in Congress, Thompson claims that he pushed the District's interests. Likening himself to the District's shadow senators, Thompson says he considered himself the "shadow staffer."

Barnes went further. "This is a young man who, because of what he has already done, can call the president," Barnes says.

Photo by Will Sommer

  • Ward One Resident

    Aye dios mio...I don't think having worked on the Hill should really be your main qualifying factor, especially now. No one likes anyone on either side of the Hill at the moment.

  • Joan

    Oh lord they all say that, he isn't shaken up sh.. .

  • loveitorleaveit

    i see amy archetti on the sidelines. this cant be good.....

  • Will Sommer

    @loveitorleaveit Good eye, that is Ochetti. She's his campaign manager.

  • Joan

    We've heard the name Thompson many times before.

  • Ward One Resident

    A government lobbyist as your campaign manager...right, because there will be no conflict of interest there if he wins. Sheesh.

  • Anonymous

    Can get the President on the phone, maybe, but needs a job being Ward 6 councilmember? What does being COS on a senate campaign mean? Is that the office manager?

  • JimofWard6

    Commenter, you are clearly one person.

    "Joan" comments at 2:03. then "leaveitorloveit" (typing too fast capitalize) comments at 2:11. Then at 2:17, "Joan," or whatever your real name is, comments again.

    Get a life, Dude.

  • Ward 4 Gentleman

    I will not be voting for an idiot who's worked for any Congress person. I hate Congress and the same apllies to their staffers. Harry Reid refer to Obama as an articulate Negro. He once stated, most whites only accept light skin articulate Negroes like Barrack Obama. Harry Reid is an old white redneck Democrat Mormon.

  • Pingback: Change is gonna come

  • Hill East Resident

    I've ran into Darrel Thompson many times walking through Lincoln Park and Barrack's Row. I've had nothing but positive experiences.

    It sounds like most of the commenters so far haven't met the guy before and are basing their entire opinion on vague criticisms of "congress."

    I, for one, am tired of the House of Representatives trying to micromanage the city and impose their values on the city they claim to hate. Having someone who knows how Congress works would be helpful as we fight for budget autonomy.

    And someone who's worked for Harry Reid and Barrack Obama knows a thing or two about fighting. Think about all the mud that was slung at them in their last campaigns.

  • Statehood4DC

    Glad to see the City Paper has adopted the view that public service / a government career is pretty much the devil's work. Must be a popular position in this town??

    Also, no mention of the candidate's long history in DC (just looked up his bio on the campaign site --- District native) or familiarity with a whole host of issues that a voter *might*, just *might* care about. Nope, instead we are treated to the immensely persuasive logic that, because the candidate has lengthy government experience, he is not qualified to serve in government. Genius, City Paper!

  • jay woods

    Dear Ward One Resident, what are your qualifiers for the job…Oh, that’s right you are not putting yourself out there to run for anything.
    Despite how you feel about Hill Staffers or the Federal Government, at least Mr. Thompson has stepped up to put his knowledge and experience to use, to benefit his neighbors instead of sitting and complaining like “some others”. And by some others I mean you!!!

  • Concerned Citizen

    Hey Anonymous, if your not smart enough to know what A Campaign Manager does, maybe you shouldn’t enter this discussion…Just Saying!!!

  • just get it done

    Mr. Ward 4 guy, Darrel Thompson is Black, read his bio, he went to Morgan State (an HBCU). He cares about his community, he is not Harry Reid, nor is he responsible for the so-called idiots in Congress.
    I think you would want someone with years of experience in political situations and knows’ how to get things done. Look at the people he’s worked for Dick Gephardt, Barack Obama and Harry Reid. Success seems to follow him.

  • Smh

    I can care less about what school he went to or which congressperson, that doesn't care about DC interests, he worked for. All I want to know is what has he done in the Ward 6 communities.

  • Scott

    I like this guy. Maybe he's smart enough not to stay in congress and actually do some work for people in Ward 6.

  • A Thinking Ward 6 Voter

    I attended Darrel Thompson's announcement event on Sunday and had a chance to meet and speak with him about his plans and vision for Ward 6. I found him to be refreshingly honest, very intelligent, humble, insightful and thoughtful. What was more impressive to me, quite frankly, is that Mr. Thompson was (and I am sure will remain) keenly interested in making the Ward better for everyone. It is unfortunate that some who have commented above clearly have not taken the time to meet and to talk with this great young man, and instead are quick to (try to) dismiss his candidacy with negativity and cynicism and complete ignorance. Shame on you! He has my support and that of my family 110%! Mr. Thompson is what this Ward needs and, more importantly, he is what this great Ward deserves! Darrel4DC!!!

  • Pink & Green Soror

    Just get it done, what is your point? I too graduated from Morgan State University and I was at their homecoming game last weekend against Florida A&M. As a Ward 1 resident living in Mount Pleasant, I will not be voting for this guy either. I too am sick of Congress and others trying to make a lifelong career out of politics. Let this guy go get a real job in the private sector. Better yet, get rid of all the current D.C. Councilmembers. Many government employees would never make it in the private sector because many would be fired for getting to work late alll the time and take leave to be off. It's very hard to get fired in the Federal and District governments.

  • just get it done

    Pink & Green Soror, have you met or talked to Mr. Thompson, before passing judgment. If you don't think that fighting for voting rights, fighting for Affirmative Action and Fighting for Health care is a real job, then you probably don't know what a real job is.

    You seem to have a hatred for all government workers, why don’t you run yourself?

  • A Thinking Ward 6 Voter

    Pink & Green Soror, I concur with "just get it done" -
    Were you at the Sunday event? Have you ever even met Mr. Thompson? Have you ever spoken with him?
    It is wholly irresponsible to pass judgment and stereotype about an entire group of people (individuals who work in politics/in congressional offices) based on your perceptions and experiences with a select few.
    As a member of an African-American sorority, it is disheartening and embarrassing to see you stoop to the same level of ignorance that provides fertile ground for stereotyping and discrimination -- the same negative forces that have kept too many talented men and women in a marginalized position -- to flourish.
    Perhaps you should go back on line.
    After that, perhaps you should consider running.