Loose Lips

Silverman Will Run for At-Large Seat, Wells Won’t

The ever-fluctuating field of candidates seeking to win David Catania's at-large D.C. Council seat got a little clearer today, with Elissa Silverman declaring for the race and outgoing Councilmember Tommy Wells announcing that he won't run.

Silverman's entry into the race has been expected since she left her job at the lefty-wonk D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute last month. Still, Silverman, a former Washington City Paper reporter who came in second to Anita Bonds in April 2013's at-large special election, tells LL that she only decided for good that she would run recently.

Silverman has already switched her party registration from Democratic to independent, a necessary move for candidates hoping to take a seat reserved for non-majority party candidates. In November, she'll be facing several candidates, including ex-Eleanor Holmes Norton staffer Robert White, Logan Circle wine bar owner Khalid Pitts, Statehood Green candidate Eugene Puryear, and anti-Walmart activist Graylan Hagler. But Silverman won't have to face one local pol: Wells. After he chose an ultimately failed mayoral bid over running for re-election in Ward 6 in the mayoral primary, Wells considered staying on the Council with an at-large bid. In a statement to Greater Greater Washington today, though, Wells says he won't run.

Not that he couldn't win! Wells' statement—titled "The Ability to Win Isn't The Best Reason to Run"—makes clear that he thinks he'd win handily.

"I just came off a citywide race and likely could easily overwhelm a crowded field of lesser-known candidates," says Wells.

Silverman, who stands to benefit from Wells' absence from the race, says Wells told her last month that he planned to make his decision in 45 days. “I think those 45 days are up," she says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Marvin E. Adams

    This is a classic example of another of the many reasons politics, within the District, pardon my French - S-U-C-K-S! No one should be allowed to switch party affiliation and run for an elected office within the same calender year. But here in the District, it's call "politics of convenience."

  • Rob W

    If Tommy could beat Elissa, how did she get more total votes city-wide in a lower-turnout special election than he did in the Democratic mayoral primary? Both with equally-split progressive fields. The answer is he couldn't. Numbers don't lie.

  • Ollie

    Ha, good one, Wells. Silverman is like you, except she has a brain in her skull and gets out more than 3 words per minute

  • itsjustamess

    Yvette Alexander, do we hear crickets?

  • Ward 2

    Where is Williams Administration Hero Robert Bobb?

  • The Scoreboard

    Poor Brian Hart. Fails to get a mention

  • Jes’ sayin

    Politicians around here change parties (from Dem to Indy and then back) about as often as they change socks and underwear. And that's a bad thing on multiple levels.

  • lost cause

    damn the whole council gonna be white if she win

  • Will Sommer

    @ Lost cause

    If she won she'd be replacing a white guy, so it wouldn't affect the racial makeup of the Council at all.

  • Calvin H. Gurley

    Mr. Will Sommer, you owe honorable Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kathy Henderson a personal apology on your demeaning characterization of labeling her a GADFLY.

    MAN-UP...SOMMERS. You would hate it if the news media labeled your wife or daughter a GADFLY.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Sommer is straight? Who knew?

  • Roscoe’s Wetsuit

    @Gurley - Too funny, one gadfly sticking up for another! Lol'z! I guess this is life in the post One City WCP comments section.

  • pleasant plains

    My vote against Calvin Gurley was decided after a not so subtle racial slight.. Got to talking to him along with a friend who's black, when he goes to me "You're not from here.." and proceeds to hand my friend his card.

    I wasn't gonna vote for the joker anyway, but that sealed the deal.


    @itsjustamess, why would Yvette A hearing crickets? There is nobody in Ward 7 that can beat her!!!! Unless you know something nobody else knows??????

  • itsjustamess

    @Big Will, I was referring to the fact she's not made her decision known within 30 days as she said she would to run as an Independent...I very well do know something you don't and so do a good many other people in Ward 7, the entire city and the global world perhaps. Everyone anyone can be beaten at any given time...ever heard of upsets?


    Oh good grief, Silverman is LOUSY!!

    Nobody likes snarky, know-it-alls who whine against the "system" and then plays back room "politicks".

    No then, No now, No forever!!

  • O_oooo

    I just don't feel like this campaign kick-off for Silverman is going as well as it could.

  • PeteinDC

    Silverman won't say anything to anger the wealthier voters in Wards 1 and 2. She will do horribly in Wards 5, 7 and 8. Wealth inequality in this city is way out of control! Want a truly progressive candidate? Go with Eugene Puryear: http://www.eugenepuryear.com

    And, really, candidates should be banned from switching parties to not less than one year before the general election.