Loose Lips

Kenyan McDuffie Endorses Robert White in At-Large Race

The size of the D.C. Council at-large field hasn't stopped Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie from making his pick. McDuffie tells LL that he plans to endorse Robert White to fill the seat.

McDuffie says he's impressed with White's Council effort, which launched months ahead of his rivals for the minority-party position that David Catania is giving up to run for mayor. "I think he’s really got a leg up because he's gotten to know a lot of people through his campaigning," McDuffie tells LL.

Like Councilmember David Grosso, both McDuffie and White have worked as staffers for Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, although their times in Norton's office didn't overlap. McDuffie says White, a Ward 4 resident, met with him before announcing his at-large run in September.

McDuffie's endorsement should give White at least some help in a field that includes Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Kishan Putta and Brian Hart, two-time at-large candidate (and former LL) Elissa Silverman, Logan Circle wine bar owner Khalid Pitts, left-wing preacher Graylan Hagler, Statehood Green candidate Eugene Puryear, Shadow Sen. Michael D. Brown, and a whole lot of other people. McDuffie, who's facing an easy reelection to his own Council seat in November, says he'll knock on doors for White and tell his own supporters to cast their at-large ballots for him.

Read McDuffie's endorsement release:

DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie Endorses At-Large Candidate Robert White Councilmember McDuffie (D-Ward 5), impressed with the momentum of Robert White's DC At-Large campaign, endorses the District’s best candidate to advance critical priorities of residents across the District. Councilmember McDuffie met Robert several months ago and connected immediately with his inspiring personal story. "Like residents across the District of Columbia, Robert knows firsthand what it is like to battle adversity and defy the odds. He overcame the personal tragedy of losing a parent as a child, became the first person in his family to graduate from college and developed into a first-rate attorney," McDuffie remarked. McDuffie’s endorsement was not given lightly. "It is critical that District residents elect the right person to serve on the Council at this time in our city's history–a candidate that understands our city's unique issues and the promise of our future," stated McDuffie. "Robert's commitment to his community and years of experience crafting legislation as a staffer to Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton separate him from the pack of candidates seeking the At-Large Council seat reserved for a non-Democrat." McDuffie respects that White was the first candidate to enter the race and has shown tremendous energy and dedication throughout his campaign. "Robert has campaigned in all eight wards, knocked on significantly more doors than any other candidate, and has built a broad coalition of supporters." McDuffie is supporting White because he has a clear vision for the city that includes every resident of every ward. "I am drawn to Robert's positive message and his firm grasp of the issues that matter most to residents," said McDuffie. "His combination of life experience, community involvement, and dedicated public service make him uniquely qualified for the At-Large seat." White graduated from St. Mary’s College and American University Law School and is the founding president of the Brightwood Park Citizens Association. McDuffie looks forward to working to elect White to the Council in November.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Wrack

    Robert White is a nice guy. But he hasn't said anything of substance since entering the race. He doesn't appear to have any policy proposals.

  • DC Guy

    A very interesting development, to be sure.

  • Ward One Resident

    Oh I'm sure there have been some nasty emails from the Silverman camp (probably Silverman herself) over this. Good times.

  • M in DC

    Interesting... I wonder how much pull this endorsement will have. I've really been hoping to see progressive folks join forces (for once! learn from EVERY PREVIOUS PROGRESSIVE LOSS, please) to endorse Elissa. If not, I fear the exact same thing that always happens will happen again. We need fewer people running and more organization happening behind the scenes before people announce.

  • joan

    If Elissa had supported Sekou Biddle instead of that Shapiro guy we would not be stuck with Vincent Orange

  • Ward6Res

    White was not the first candidate to enter the race. False! And as someone said -- where's the substance? Eugene Puryear remains the best choice and the only real chance at significant progressive change coming from council.

  • Will Sommer

    Not so, Ward6Res. White filed his candidate papers roughly two months before Puryear. As I've written before, Puryear could hardly have filed as a candidate before Nov. 2013--he wasn't even registered to vote then.

  • Brians.Ions

    We thought Ward 5 was the quiet conspiracy to take control of the Council. It's really Eleanor, isn't it?

  • Mike

    Eric Jones is the most qualified candidate in the race.

  • Sam from far SE


    You need to stop your clear bias against Eric Jones. First off you took a back handed swipe in your article when he launched. You then took yet another jab at him last week stating that he had a small crowd at the Palisades Parade which he had to offset by a brass band. You then leave him off of the list of candidates this time around.

    It is clear that you have something against him. The truth will eventually come out. He has the most substance in the race. He isn't giving blanket fluff statements like White who hasn't laid out a tangible policy for anything.

    He isn't Silverman who thinks that she has a right to the seat just because she has lost before.

    He isn't Puryear who just spouts overly liberal statements and illogical points.

    Hell Puryear and Pitts weren't registered a year ago but you continue to push and support them.

  • PeteCapHill

    Is Eric Jones even close to getting the required number of signatures? I think he lacks substance, just like Robert White. Who besides Silverman has obtained at least 3,000 verified signatures? Aug. 6 is fast approaching.

  • Roger

    Of Course McDuffie endorsed White...they're both taking donations from the same corporate donors like David Wilmot, who represents Wal-Mart, hotels associations, and corporate health care! I'm voting for Eugene Puryear...the only real progressive choice, whose campaign is truly one for the people in DC who don't have a voice in government. It's disgusting to me that these Democrats masquerade as "independents" and run for the At-Large positions that were meant to bring balance to the Council by including true independents and other parties.

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