A majority of the At-Large Candidates running for DC Council in 2020 are Democrats who avoided their party’s primary election.
The DC Home Rule Act states the following:
“…not more than two of the at-large members (excluding the Chairman) shall be nominated by the same political party.“
In this year’s general election, 12 of the 19 remaining “Independent” candidates have run as Democrats in the past, have worked for other Democrats, or have financially supported other Democratic candidates. Essentially, their victory would take the At-Large spot from a candidate from a DC registered party (Republican, Libertarian, Statehood Green) and give it to another Democrat, violating the spirit of the DC Home Rule Act and suppressing a voice from a minority party.
By visiting the candidate’s websites, checking Board of Election records, FEC records, and other open-source sites, I discovered that some candidates proudly display their Democratic affiliation, while others hide it. Here’s a chart of my results:
|Candidate||Details on party affiliation|
|Vincent Orange||Ran as Democrat in 2016 against Robert White, former DC National Committeeman|
|Ed Lazere||Ran as Democrat for Chair of Council in 2018|
|Marcus Goodman||President of DC Young Democrats|
|Christina Henderson||Works for Sen. Schumer (D-NY), former volunteer for Hillary Clinton|
|Franklin Garcia||Formerly Worked for Hillary Clinton|
|Markus Batchelor||Former VP of Ward 8 Democrats|
|Eric Rogers||Campaign manager for CM Mendelson (D), worked for Democrats on DC Council|
|Monica Palacio||Calls herself “Independent Democrat” on website|
|Mario Cristaldo||Calls himself “Independent Democrat” on website|
|Claudia Barragan||Former policy analyst for CM Trayon White (D)|
|Will Merrifield||Donated to Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard|
|Alex Padro||Donated to Joe Biden|
The candidates who didn’t have obvious Democratic affiliation are Chandler Jayaraman, Calvin Gurley, Kathy Henderson, A’Shia Howard, Jeanne Lewis, Michelangelo “Dr. Mic” Scruggs, and Keith Silver.
The candidates who are nominated by a real DC political party are: