The At-Large Race Gets One More Candidate
If none of the ten candidates currently angling for a single at-large D.C. Council seat haven't intrigued you yet, LL has good news. There's still one more candidate to consider! Construction trade association staffer Eric Jones tells LL that he, too, will run for the seat being vacated by mayoral hopeful David Catania.
Jones, who was previously a vice president in the D.C. Young Democrats and now works in government relations at the District chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, launched an exploratory committee in February. Jones says he decided to make his run official earlier this month.
LL asked Jones how he'd have voted on some recent bills if he already was on the Council. He says he'd have voted in favor of marijuana decriminalization, but is nonetheless suspicious of it. He would have backed Council Chairman Phil Mendelson's move to shift streetcar funding into tax cuts, but, after losing 40 pounds over two years, he wouldn't have supported the "yoga tax" on gym memberships and other service.
Jones concedes that he'll face tough competition from fellow candidates Robert White, who started his campaign last September, and Elissa Silverman, who came in second in an April 2013 special election for an at-large seat. Still, he points to low voter turnout in the April primary as evidence that few people are paying attention to his own race yet.
Silverman has, like Ward 6 councilmember Tommy Wells and presumptive Wells replacement Charles Allen, sworn off accepting corporate contributions to her campaign. Don't expect Jones to do the same, though.
“I have no problem with corporate contributions," Jones says. "My honest belief is if a corporation has to pay taxes, why shouldn’t it be able to make contributions?”
Running for the at-large seat reserved for non-Democrats required Jones, like many of his opponents, to switch their party registration from Democrat to "independent." Jones says that Statehood Greens and Republicans unhappy over the party-hopping are just making excuses for their own lack of electoral success.
“I would say they’re complaining because they’re not resonating with the city," Jones says.
Photo courtesy Eric Jones