Loose Lips

Hagler Declares for At-Large Seat, Silverman Almost Does

Elissa Silverman

The race to replace David Catania in one of the D.C. Council's at-large seats reserved for minority parties is getting even more crowded. This week, the field got two progressive candidates.

Rev. Graylan Hagler, the preacher who never missed an opportunity to slam Vince Gray over the Large Retailer Accountability Act, tells LL that he'll run in the race as an independent. Among Hagler's issues: whether mayoral control of schools should be re-evaluated, and legislators who ignore their constituents to meet with lobbyists.

“If you spend time down at the Wilson Building, you see that," Hagler says.

Competing with Hagler for votes will (probably) be Elissa Silverman, a spokeswoman for the left-leaning D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute and one of LL's predecessors at Washington City Paper. Silverman, who came in second behind Anita Bonds in an April 2013 special at-large election, told supporters in an email that she's leaving her job April 11 to mull a bid. But LL doesn't think she'd be quitting if she wasn't running.

Silverman says she saw the policies like banning corporate contributions and increasing the minimum wage she pushed in her special election run adopted by recent candidates like mayoral primary victor Muriel Bowser.

“The first time I ran, it was impetuous," Silverman tells LL. "I was angry about ethics. I was angry that campaigns weren’t about ideas.”

Silverman says she's already switched her registration from Democrat to independent.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • DC dude

    “The first time I ran, it was impetuous," Silverman tells LL. "I was angry about ethics...” Silverman says she's already switched her registration from Democrat to independent.

    The non-Democratic seat is for REAL non-Democrats. What Silverman is doing is unethical.

  • Nick

    @DC dude:
    When was the last time one of those seats was held by someone who hadn't previously been a Democrat? I have no problem with this - my problem is with the Home Rule Act limiting DC voters' ability to elect who they want to. What's unethical is the Council moving up the primary date to discourage challengers. It's a lot easier for Hagler or Silverman to run against Bonds if the primary's in August instead of April.


    Silverman is a JOKE!

    Still blaming the system on why she lost......get real, you lost because you tried to play inside "baseball" in an email. Asking an opponent to step down, so she could win by getting his votes..... go away!!

    Say NO to smirky progressives....... only REAL progressives apply!

  • drez

    Glad to see Elissa might get in.

  • WARD 4 Voter

    I would never vote for these liberal left wing idiots. I sick of the so called progressive BS. We need some moderate Democrats or Blue Dog Dems on the D.C. Council.

  • WARD 4 Voter


    I'm sick of the so called progressive BS agenda. Rev. Graylan Hagler needs to stay in the pulpit preaching his liberal left wing BS. I'm glad we have a Walmart in Ward 4 DC and it's doing great business. I no longer have to drive to Laurel, Hanover, and Severn, Maryland to shop at Walmart.

  • tntdc

    Important fact: Candidates have until August 6 to decide what they want to run for.

  • Jackson

    Wow. Glad Elissa is thinking of running again.

  • D.C. Space

    I have a lot of respect for Silverman. She could have disappeared after her narrow defeat to Bonds. But she has shone herself to be a fierce advocate pushing the council toward a minimum wage increase and being a leading advocate for paid sick leave and campaign finance reform.

  • Loganite


    Hmmm? David Catania comes to mind.

  • Loganite

    Whoa! This chickadee is fuggin' fugly. Why with a headline about Reverend Haglar do we get this two bagger's mug? Your biasvis already showing.

  • Asuka

    LOL - Silverman (aka Alpert In Drag) has no chance what so ever. She's another loon from the GGW crew.

  • Jes sayin’

    So "she's leaving her job April 11th to mull a bid."

    Yeah, I can totally relate to that.

    I left my job the beginning of March so I could mull over my brackets for the final four. Mulling, you know, takes all of your time.

    It's amazing how we get handed this line days after the Democratic primary. Welcome to DC, where the bullshit never stops and we gullible folks will believe anything you tell us.

  • asuka

    "Elisa Silverman told supporters in an email that she's leaving her job April 11 to mull a bid. But LL doesn't think she'd be quitting if she wasn't running." So she begins her run with truth evasion. I wonder if she'll finish it like she finished the last one - by trying to undermine the democratic process with back room deals.

    Catania will smash her, right after he gets smashed by Bowser.

  • Hat in the ring

    Two dopes don't make a right.

    Where's B. Harold Smith these days?

    This is a $100 trivia question for those chosen few. Are you native enough?


  • DC Guy

    While not unethical, it certainly shows major flaws in both the candidate and the system that people do this. Compete with your party. Win and you're in. This is just ridiculous.

  • Friend of the City

    The reason that we have this seat is because they didn't want the city to have a slant to one side. These last two folks are nothing but freaking jokes. Haggler is a crook who has barely kept his church which was filled with middle/upper middle class folks from MD. The only reason he is still there is because the old church leadership has left or passed away and no one wants to be there. He is a hired pawn of groups who will give him pocket change.

    As for Silverman, she is a joke as well. She hates business and wants to blame them for all of the problems of this city. She wants them to pay taxes, but not be part of the political process. She doesn't want them to be able to lobby, but wants the folks she works with to continue to be the central figure in spending money that they don't create or have any process in making. She is an overly liberal female who encourages and pushes for closet gentrification. She however panders to the lower class because she knows they can't understand her.

    If you are looking for a real answer to the overly liberal policies of the city check out Eric J. Jones who is exploring a run for council at http://www.jones2014exploratory.com and encourage him to run. He is a real blue dog who has been pushed out of the DC Democratic Party because he actually likes to think and be practical.

    Also check out Mark Morgan at http://www.morganfordc.com he is a republican which may bother some but he isn't a traditional republican. He is an ANC and understands the issues of the city.

    I would recommend Mr. Jones as I find him to be more moderate and a real bridge builder. He balances out the two aspects of business and community that is so needed in this city. Mr. Morgan is a welcome change of pace as well, but he has run before which is my only concern.

  • AntiTory

    "She wants them to pay taxes, but not be part of the political process. "

    yes, in our democracy votes go to residents of a jurisdiction, not to non-resident tax payers. Businesses can be consulted by the district govt on issues that impact them, in open forums. They inevitably will make their voices heard in private, including by threatening to leave or to not expand (as Walmart did). But the additional clout that comes from campaign donations tends to throw the system out of balance. To defend campaign donations as a way to give business a legit voice seems less like any kind of moderate Dem politics, and more like a George Will style approach, skeptical of small d democracy and longing for a mixed govt with representation to property - a rehash of Federalist arguments from the 1820s.

  • EastSide

    Progressive and want someone who will work hard for ordinary Washingtonians? Vote Eugene Puryear (eugenepuryear.com) -- he has a great plan to help make DC affordable and more just. Rev. Hagler has more influence behind the pulpit than splitting the progressive vote AND losing. He did horribly when he placed 5th or 6th in Ward 4 a few years ago. And Elissa is a mild liberal, not a true progressive.

  • MikenotIke

    When 74 percent of District voters voted against her last time she didnt get the message. If only GGW could register all their Arlingtonites to vote in DC!

  • ChangeHappens

    The winner of that race, Anita Bonds, had 69% of the vote against her. Silverman actually came within 5 percentage points of winning. And the DC electorate is already different than it was then, even in just 12 months.

  • asuka

    @ Mike

    LOLOLOL - so true!

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