Three incumbent ward council members in D.C. won their Democratic primaries Tuesday, but an at-large council member has just a slight lead.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Councilman Vincent Orange led challenger Sekou Biddle 41 percent to 40 percent.
He had a 543-vote lead, but with almost 4,000 absentee ballots to consider, this race was too close to call Tuesday night, News4’s Tom Sherwood reported. Absentee ballots are not usually counted unless they could affect the outcome of a race.
The absentee ballots will be counted April 13. There may be too few special ballots -- ballots cast by someone who may not show up on registration rolls -- to matter.
With some of the city's top leaders under federal investigation, ethics issues were at the center of the at-large Democratic primary. Orange was linked to Jeffrey Thompson, a prolific political donor in D.C., whose home and offices were raided as part of an investigation into Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign.
In a debate on Kojo Nnamdi's WAMU Politics Hours last week, Orange reminded listeners that he is not under investigation and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
When Council Chairman Kwame Brown vacated his at-large seat after being elected chairman in 2010, Orange narrowly missed being temporarily appointed to it, Sherwood reported. Biddle got the appointment but then lost the special election to fill out the full term to Orange.
Round 3 has been extended.
Orange previously represented Ward 5 on the council and lost to Adrian Fenty in the 2006 mayoral race.
Council members Marion Barry (Ward 8), Muriel Bowser (Ward 4) and Yvette Alexander (Ward 7), won nominations.
Barry’s primary win -- he had 73 percent of the vote with 71 percent of precincts reporting -- makes him the presumptive Ward 8 representative for a third consecutive term. Barry, who served four terms as mayor, only lost in 1990 -- a 1990 at-large council race before he served a six-month prison term.
Ann Wilcox won the only contested Statehood Green primary, for the at-large council seat.