On Election Night, a Happy Jack (But Not an Ecstatic One)
Jack Evans' dominant campaign-signage game continued all the way through election night, when the sidewalk abutting Stoney's Lounge on P Street NW was stuffed with more red card-stock than a massacred paper mill. Inside, a Jack Evans banner was less lucky: As it peeled from the walls of Stoney's second-floor bar, Evans supporters rushed to pin it back up. They couldn't get it to stick.
Other things that didn't quite stick: the field of mayoral candidates. After arriving here around 9:15 p.m., the Ward 2 councilmember said he'd seen low turnout throughout the day. Evans hit every ward today, including, in the late afternoon and early evening, wards 7 and 8, where he said he saw "not one voter" at three precincts and small numbers elsewhere.
"There was no candidate that electrified you," Evans said. Asked whether he had electrified people, he said he had in wards 2 and 3. If other wards had low turnout but "everyone in two and three turned out for me, we'd have a shot." He wasn't discounting that possibility yet. "It's anybody's guess," Evans said when asked who he though would win. (One other culprit for the low turnout? The weather, Evans said, blaming this weekend's precipitation for dampening the mood.)
Evans said he's still hoping to pass legislation that would alter some D.C. election practices, like its closed primaries, fundraising limits that prevent candidates from raising funds separately for primary and general elections, and the April primary date. (The D.C. Council did consider, then opted against, changing that last one.)
Despite Evans' poor showing in recent polls, the mood at Stoney's was jovial, if a bit heavier than normal on older white men with ties. (There were also plenty of younger white men with ties.) As supporters waited for a second round of bar food, one Evans staffer made sure I noted that the party was serving meat. (Earlier in the day, Evans quipped that opponent Tommy Wells' election-night party was "probably at some vegetarian place.") Another Evans supporter booed when NewsChannel8 showed footage of the Wells campaign.
Evans, drinking a Coke, made the rounds, shaking hands with supporters and dispensing back pats. Asked why he wasn't drinking something stiffer, he said, "Later on."
Photo by Jonathan L. Fischer