Loose Lips

Anita Bonds Crushes Opponents in Poll

The Democratic primary for an at-large D.C. Council seat hasn't been getting much attention this year. And with good reason: incumbent Councilmember Anita Bonds seems to be blowing out her competition.

While voters have a choice between four candidates in the race, a plurality of residents are sticking with just one. In a Washington City Paper/Kojo Nnamdi Show poll of 860 likely voters conducted between March 13-16, 43 percent picked Bonds, while closest challenger and shadow representative Nate Bennett-Fleming received 10 percent. John Settles and Pedro Rubio received 6 and 4 percent, respectively. Nearly as many voters who liked Bonds, 37 percent, were undecided.

With the anti-Bonds vote split and apparently not that big to begin with, District residents appear headed for a full four-year term with her. But there's a little hope for Bonds ousters—the polling was almost over by the time the Washington Post editorial endorsed Bennett-Fleming, a boost that could help make him Bonds' leading challenger.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Tight Lips

    Nate is a good guy but a city-wide election with issues EOTR, will make it hard for him to be Bubble Egg Head Bonds.

    Yes she is terrible, but the only way Nate can get in the door is if he becomes a Ward councilmember first.

  • joan

    it wouldn't surprise me if the DC electorate gives a pass to a dimwit like Anita Bonds

  • Voting for Nate Bennett-Fleming

    Yea Bonds is just happy to be there. Least effective council member in office.

    I hope voters realize that Nate Bennett-Fleming is our only shot at beating her.

  • Barb

    Anita is clearly the not the candidate we need in our city. As a mother and a bike rider, I just do t think she has the cities best interest at heart. The Washington Post got it right w their endorsement.

    I've also heard rumblings about unethical moves made between bonds and her employer. Is there any truth to this? Has she been abusing the power of her office?

  • Brooke

    I am a DC voter supporting Anita. Anita has the perspective necessary to make informed decisions for DC citizens. We need her on the council for a full term. In only one year, she has already proposed and gotten important legislation signed into law- the property tax reduction for senior citizens.

    Nate has shown poor character throughout the campaign. He personally attacks the other candidates with no basis. He is showing his immaturity. I believe that one day he will represent DC in a significant way, but he still has a long way to go. He has opened up about his DUI, which I think shows poor character and recklessness. I do not trust him.

    I hope voters look at Anita's history…compared to Nate's…and make the right decision. Go Anita!

  • SEis4ME

    TightL is right.

    I don't know how terrible Bonds is but clearly a lot of people think she's not. That's not a small margin.

  • Smh

    Nate is too arrogant to win citywide. Hell, he's too arrogant to win in Ward 8. He couldn't even win the Ward 8 Dems Endorsement.

  • Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr

    My wife and I voted for Anita Bonds yesterday due to her legislation to protect senior citizens from high property taxes go to shawcivic.org. Also Anita know's unlike Nate Fleming that she doe's not have to be validated by other cultures to know her self worth. Fleming has no respect for his civil right leaders or he just don't care despite graduating from Martin Luther King, Jr., Moorehouse College.

  • tony

    Anyone running for public office must first establish a “political base”.

    A political base” consists of committed supporters who are sufficient in numbers and resources to make one competitive.

    You can't win public office without first establishing and solidifying a "political base".

    Nate received the endorsement from the Washington Post, The Washington City Paper, Gertrude and Stein, The Jewish Federation Fund and the support of other city-wide entities.

    Such endorsements evidenced that his political message was broad and extended well beyond EOTR issues.

    However, such endorsements are never an indication that a candidate has developed the political base necessary to win public office.

    Every candidate’s political base is formed and determined by his/her position on political issues. That’s why it’s critical for any candidate to take a firm position in detail on political issues.

    The notion that you can garner support and form a "solid" political base by running on the idea that “rising tides will lift all boats” is a myth and a mistake.

  • statisticalskeptic

    The important thing to note here is that this poll was conducted BEFORE Bennett-Fleming was endorsed by the Washington Post. As we know, it's an understatement to say that the Post is widely read and well respected (sorry City Paper). I wouldn't be surprised if Nate wins on Tuesday.

    Another thing is that this poll only called land lines, which are only used by Bonds supporters and the like.

  • Corky

    skeptic--Keep dreaming. For some reason, some people think an endorsement by the Post means something in DC elections. It means that the editors of the Post, who mostly live outside of DC, have an opinion. How did that Post endorsement work out for Fenty last time?

  • PrttyGurl

    Each time I see/hear from Nate the less impressed I become with him and when the 29yo says he's been writing legislation for 15 year, I rofl.

    Settles seems like a nice guy but his 3.4 million personal bankruptcy(This was not a business bankruptcy or chapter 11) makes me think of Kwame, Harry and Mikey Brown. Privilaged rich brother trying to live large until the bills catch up!

    Can't believe it but I'll hold my nose and vote Bonds

  • DC Guy

    Actually, I thought the poll was conducted after the Post endorsement but before the NW Current endorsement. The Current actually provided a thoughtful presentation of the three leading candidates, Bonds, Bennett-Fleming and John Settles. The paper made some incredibly strong statements about Settles in endorsing him.

    Unlike the Washington Post (Fleming shows "promise") and the WCP ("he has energy"), Settles has actually accomplished a lot in his professional career. Here is what WCP said:

    "...more creative about what government could do to improve life for all citizens of a changing city...Settles helped found one of D.C.’s most in-demand charter schools, and his work as a mortgage broker puts him in the middle of the affordable housing debate every day."

    It is hard to fathom how or why the City Paper endorses Nate based on "energy" when compared to the personal and professional experience Settles brings to this race.

    Ultimately, it probably won't matter, as Bonds has a pretty large lead in the polling, but with the number of undecideds and the Current endorsement, anything could happen.

  • Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr

    @ tony

    Most of Nate's endorsement came from organizations and the media that want controlled and weak minded African-American politicians that won't close the gap between Blacks and Whites in this city regarding contracts, education, jobs and housing. Nate is their boy, he long's to be validated by a growing gentrified city that has no use for African-Americans unless they are controlled.

    I hope he did not pledge Alpha Phi Alpha because he seems weak and meek. I am a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi. I do have a lot of respect for the late Black Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr who was an Alpha with Kappa flare.

  • Wendell

    There is no way Bonds will win on Tuesday. The older people who participated in this poll just recognized her name. Now that Nate's name is out there, voters will choose him. Nate been endorsed by a lot of papers since this poll was conducted in early March and he's also been on TV. That visibility combined with Anita's dislike of bike lanes could very well put Nate over the top in this low turnout election.

    No one in their right mind thinks Settles is a viable candidate. He has hardly any endorsements and isn't involved in local politics. He doesn't even vote according to another Washington Post article. Most voters I've talked to don't even want to hear/talk about him. I wish Settles would just drop out and give the young man a chance to better DC. Splitting the progressive vote that could oust a stagnant incumbent is not cute.

  • tony

    Anita Bonds has a "base". And she is catering to that base which is black folks.

    The question for me was: Could Nate develop a similar "base" equal to or greater than Bonds and then expand it to reach voters she could not? I believed that he could have. However, I don’t believe that the brand of politics he embraced supported such a strategy.

    I believe that he is very smart and capable. But does he has the political acumen and possesses the “pitbull mentality” to unseat an entrenched incumbent with more than 30 years of political experience?

    That takes more than just a cross-over appeal.

  • DCTransplant

    Really, Settles has 3.4 million in bankruptcy? How does anyone think he can handle the city's budget?

  • tony

    @Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr,

    I yearn for day when the likes of an Adam Clayton Powell reemerges in this city!

  • Kesh Ladduwahetty

    Someone hasn't informed all the Ward 3 voters I met last Sat at Stoddert & Chevy Chase Comm Ctr, who overwhelmingly responded positively to Nate. Most of the voters have no idea there's even an At-large Council election and the only folks they see at the polls in vote-rich Ward 3 are for Nate. I would guess the same holds in Wards 1 & 6. Meanwhile, Nate will also get a good chunk of 7 & 8.

  • EthicalVote

    I believe in voting for the best candidate no matter what the polls say. Who is dumb enough to vote for an ineffective candidate because she got a higher score on an outdated and inaccurate poll? It's not like she will know you voted for a better candidate. Voting is private. Besides, if everyone thinks like that, DC will never get anywhere. Be visionary and Vote Nate Bennett-Fleming on April 1st. There's no harm in it. But if you vote Bonds, you're not even trying. Settles and Rubio are not real candidates according to Washington Post.

  • http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/03/27/bennett-fleming-d-c-council-large/ Jimmie Luthuli

    This is why I support Nate along with most of the LGBTQ community: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/03/27/bennett-fleming-d-c-council-large/

  • tony

    Just wait one minute.

    If we going to discount this poll then must discount the Mayoral polls which may favorite your candidates. You can't have it both ways.

    Personally, I don't put a lot of stock in polls but the spread in this poll can't be overlooked.

  • stevgorman

    Tony is confused. Gertrude Stein endorsed Nate Bennett-Fleming two years when he ran unopposed for for DC shadow rep. This time G-S did not endorse anyone in this race because the club's bylaws requires a candidate to receive 60% of the votes by the members present.

    here is the link. Look at the dates and officers.


    That said, there has been long standing hostility toward Anita Bonds because of the "progressive" clique of the DC Democratic State Committee lost its war to oust her as Chair. Instead of waiting one more voting cycle for a near guaranteed opportunity to be the majority in the DCDSC, they all quit in a sore loser huff. You'll find them still foaming at the mouth with rage on twitter. I've seen some nutty political circumstances but the DC For Democracy hate for Bonds is neurotic.

  • NE John

    paleo-centric Bonds and the all powerful anti-bike lobby prevails

  • Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr.

    @ tony

    Most of these DC African-American politicians and residents don't even know who Adam clayton Powell, Jr. was and they have benefited form his leadership in Congress at the time including DC self determination etc..

    Get the book "King f the Cats," on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton wrote something in that book. I like Holmes-Norton and Maxine Waters - two strong and smart sisters I will always support - these weak brothers in politics can't touch them two sisters.

  • http://citypaper SLY

    @Leroy, BIG ADAM was the greatest. Adam was the national rep for black people. I suggest that you read ADAM by ADAM.

  • truth hurts

    I was very anti-Bonds when before the special at large election. But on most issues since she won, Bonds has surprised me. I saw her at an event last year and told her I hadn't supported her. Bonds was very gracious and asked me to keep an open mind. I said I would. I've come to sorta like her since.

  • koruption

    Nate is a Que...Omega Psi Phi.