DCision ‘08: The LL Postmortem

From the Washington City Paper blog City Desk

Winner: At-Large Councilmember-Elect Michael A. Brown. Well, duh. But he won impressively. The numbers indicate that he was able to get a higher-than-usual folks to make that second at-large vote, considering the turnout. (Usually, the higher the turnout, the larger the percentage of people who decline to cast one or both at-large votes.) And he seems to have developed a base in the eastern half of the city, winning better than 50 percent of the non-Kwame vote in Wards 5 (57.0%), 7 (63.4%), and 8 (70.3%).

Winnerish: Patrick Mara. Hey, he won some precincts—9 (St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church) and 12 (Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist), to be precise! And he ran strong, beating Carol Schwartz in her traditional strongholds—Wards 2, 3, and 4. Is future citywide success in the cards? Not likely, but he’s got a name and a base now, if he decides he wants to do it again.

Winner: Shadow Senator-for-Life Paul Strauss. BRPAA report? DWI arrest? Fuggedaboutit: 80.75 percent of the vote later, Strauss gets another six years of public office.

Winner: Ward 3 SBOE member Laura McGiffert Slover, who wins honors for racking up the highest percentage of votes of any unopposed incumbent, caputuring 98.5 percent of the vote, narrowly beating out Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser and her 97.0 percent.

Loser: Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Savor the words: “At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown.” So long to Schwartz’s one-woman Yellow Team; now there’s a new member of Vince Gray’s Blue Team. This seat could have belonged to the Green Team had they tried. Fenty’s take: “I congratulate Michael Brown. I’ve known him a long time….Politics done right isn’t about us. It’s about the people.”

Losers: Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and Yvette Alexander. Last night at the local Dems’ party at the Madison Hotel, all sorts of tongues were wagging about the Ward 7 State Board of Education race, of all things. Gray and Alexander, the towering figures of Ward 7 politics, had endorsed Cameron Poles for the ward’s board seat. But Douglas, a longtime Deanwood ANC commissioner, smoked Poles and LL-endorsed challenged Ralph Chittums Sr., winning 53 percent of the vote. Gray and Alexander may have played kingmaker for Michael Brown, but they couldn’t do it in his home ward.


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Loser: Dee Hunter. Not only did he get the fewest votes of any at-large candidate (even in his supposed stronghold of Ward 1), but he also lost his ANC seat, big time, to Deborah R. Thomas. (Full disclosure: LL lives in Hunter’s SMD and lives in the same building as Thomas.)

Loser: Leroy Thorpe. See LL’s earlier post.

Winner/Loser (Actually Mostly Loser): The Board of Elections and Ethics. For the 13 hours during which polls were open yesterday, the BOEE did a fine job, keeping long lines moving efficiently at 143 polling places, according to most accounts, and keeping reporters regularly updated. After 8 p.m., though, the board’s insistence on “accuracy over speed” was stretched well past the point of ridicule. With no returns until 10:45 p.m. and complete results not coming until almost 2:30 a.m., LL has to wonder: Why can’t we have both accuracy and speed? Most everyone else seems to get it.

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