Loose Lips

Blaming Primary’s Effect on Finances, Elissa Silverman Opts Out of Democratic At-Large Race

Next year's April primary date has been criticized as too early, with opponents, including Council Chairman Phil Mendelsonsaying that its requirement that candidates gather petitions during the winter holidays amounts to an "incumbent protection act." Now the early primary may have foiled its first would-be challenger.

Elissa Silverman, who came in second to Anita Bonds in April's special election for an at-large D.C. Council seat, emailed supporters today saying that she won't run against Bonds next year. Silverman, a former Washington City Paper Loose Lips columnist, says she can't enter next April's primary because of how the early primary would affect her bank account.

In order to run, Silverman says she'd have to leave behind her job as the spokeswoman for the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute and the salary—$66,133 a year, as of her April tax returns—that comes with it. If she won the primary, she would have been out of work for 14 months by her January 2015 swearing-in. (Of course, if she ran and lost, she could go back to work sooner.)

"There's a reason why people with moderate incomes don't run for office in our city," Silverman says.

Silverman's finances might be better off if she changed her party registration and ran as an independent for the at-large seat reserved for non-Democrats. She'd be able to avoid both the winter petition season and have a few more months at her job.

But Silverman, so willing to talk about her bank account and publish her tax returns, clams up when it comes to whether she's thinking about running for the set-aside. "I'm not a candidate for the Democratic primary at this time," she says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • H street neighbor

    Would be nice to have a candidate with actual business experience, instead of yet another tax & spend liberal with a record of legislative failures.

  • Sally

    So Elissa isn't running in the Dem primary (in which she would get trounced), but is being coy about running as a fake independent?

    Puhleeze! She's become as transparent as the politicians she seeks to replace. Please just keep working at the DC Tax Hike Institute and keep telling us how we need to pay more taxes to pay for the same failed social welfare programs that have accomplished nothing other than enriching well-connected insiders.

    Kind of a shame she's not running for the Ward 6 Council seat. Would be nice to have a real race rather than a North Korea-style passing of the left-wing baton from one non-Washingtonian to another.

  • drez

    Tommy Wells' anemic fundraising totals demonstrate why Elissa isn't getting in.
    Even if (as I think) Elissa would be the better candidate for DC.

  • Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr.

    If she had the funding and with another African-American or more in the race she may possibly win.

  • noodlez

    YO SALLS' WHAT NON-WASHINGTONIAN DO YOU SPEAK OF?
    IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT WELLS BUTT BOY HE DOESN'T HAVE A CHANCE.

    WITH THAT BEING SAID I AGREE THAT SHE WOULD PLAY WELL IN WARD 6 WITH THE DIVERSE, HIGHFALUTIN, GRITTY, STEADFAST FOLK OF THE 6TH WARD. IN ALL HONESTY SHE SHOULD HAVE RAN FOR THIS SEAT WHICH SHE WOULD WIN HANDS DOWN IT WOULDN'T HAVE MATTERED WHAT WELLS WAS GOING TO DO.

    I THINK SHE MAY HAVE WENT SHORT WHEN SHE SHOULD HAVE WENT LONG. THE SPECIAL DID ALLOW HER SOME NAME RECOGNITION BUT TO LOSE THEN TRY TO WIN ON AN END AROUND DOESN'T SHOW WELL. SHE SHOULD HAVE WENT ALL IN NOW TO ALLOW THE SPECIAL WINNER TO SHOW THEIR HAND AND CAPITALIZE ON THAT.

  • Fabrisse

    Damn. As an independent, I'd like to see her run as such.

  • SEis4ME

    I thought she was preparing for the W6 run myself. Maybe not. Wells is running for Mayor..somebody has to get the seat.

  • Tone

    You're right, and it's Charles Allen.

  • RealDC

    Enough with the excuses. Just go away, she would not have won anyway!!

  • asuka

    "There's a reason why people with moderate incomes don't run for office in our city," Silverman says.

    Huh? Was Anita Bonds born with a silver spoon in her mouth? Was Marion Barry? No. What they did do was not assume they had a right to hold a major elective position without experience or paying their political dues. They, like so many other middle-class candidates who have successfully achieved high elective positions, worked their way up through the ranks, taking years to build the support required for a position such as an At-Large seat.

    Go away Silverman, and take your GGW mewling myopic twits with you. She looks like David Alpert in drag - have the two ever been seen together?

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