In a city whose voters, including LGBTQ voters, are overwhelmingly Democrats, DC’s Democratic lawmakers — including Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson — are seen as frontrunners for re-election in the election. of November 8 in the city.
Among the non-incumbent Democrats expected to win is gay DC Council Ward 5 candidate Zachary Parker, who most political observers believe will become the first openly gay member of the DC Council since 2015, as gay members from the Board David Catania (I-At-Large) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) left the Board.
Parker is an elected member of the nonpartisan DC State Board of Education. He won Ward 5’s Democratic primary on June 21 in a closely contested seven-candidate race, beating, among others, former Ward 5 councilman Vincent Orange. He is considered the heavy favorite against his lesser-known Republican opponent, Clarence Lee, in the November 8 general election.
Two other gay candidates are also on the ballot in DC’s Nov. 8 election, but they are considered far less likely to win than Parker. Both are running as Libertarian Party candidates. Bruce Majors is running for the DC congressional delegate seat held by longtime incumbent and LGBTQ rights supporter Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who is seen as the heavy favorite for re-election. Statehood Green Party candidate Natalie Stracuzzi is also vying for the congressional delegate seat.
The other gay libertarian, Adrian Salsgiver, is running for the 3 DC Ward council seat against Democratic candidate Matthew Frumin and Republican David Krucoff. The Ward 3 seat became vacant when incumbent Democrat Mary Cheh announced she would not run for office. Both Frumin and Krucoff have expressed their support for LGBTQ rights.
Bowser, who has a long history of support on LGBTQ issues, is also seen as the heavy favorite to finish ahead of her general election opponents, which include Republican Stacia Hall, Independent Rodney Red Grant and Libertarian Party candidate Dennis. Sobin.
Council Speaker Mendelson, also a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights, is seen as the favorite to win against his opponents – Republican Nate Darenge and state Green Party candidate Darryl Moch.
In a development that surprised some political observers, Democrats from Capital Stonewall, DC’s largest local LGBTQ political group, backed DC Council Member Robert White (D-At-Large) against Bowser and Democratic challenger Erin Palmer versus Mendelson in the June 21 Democratic primary.
Shortly after the primary, when Bowser and Mendelson emerged as the big winners, Capital Stonewall Democrats endorsed Bowser, Mendelson and the Democratic candidates in all other races.
Among the other races is the contest for two seats on the DC Council at large, which became the only race in which the outcome is considered uncertain in DC’s November 8 general election. And some political observers believe the LGBTQ vote could be the deciding factor in determining the two winners of this race.
Under the city’s self-government charter approved by Congress in the early 1970s, two of the four members of the city council must belong to a nonmajority political party or be independent.
Anita Bonds, a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights, holds the Democratic seat in the election this year. The other seat is held by independent incumbent Elisa Silverman, who has also been a strong supporter of LGBTQ issues. Six others are vying for the two seats, with voters having the option of voting for two of the eight contenders.
These include Kenyan Democrat-turned-Independent McDuffie, who currently holds the 5 DC Ward Council seat; Republican Giuseppe Niosi, who along with his wife and child participated in DC’s Capital Pride Parade in June; David Schwartzman, Green Party candidate for statehood; and independent candidates Graham McLaughlin, Fred Hill and Karim Marshall. McDuffie has a record of supporting LGBTQ rights on the Council and the others have each voiced their support for LGBTQ rights.
McLaughlin, a former corporate executive and small business advocate, said he has worked with LGBTQ organizations, including the Trevor Project, in his role as an advocate for homeless youth.
Capital Stonewall Democrats endorsed Bonds’ re-election but decided against endorsing the non-Democratic seat, saying it would amount to endorsing someone running against Democratic Bonds.
In addition to the Ward 3 and Ward 5 council races, DC council seats in Wards 2 and 6 will be elected on Nov. 8. In the Ward 1 race, incumbent Democrat Brianne Nadeau, a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights, is considered the strong favorite over Statehood Green Party challenger Chris Otten.
Capital Stonewall Democrats endorsed Nadeau in the Nov. 8 general election and June primary when gay Democrat and former DC police officer Salah Czapary challenged her.
LGBTQ activists who backed Czapary said LGBTQ voters who backed Nadeau over Czapary clearly based their decision on non-LGBTQ issues — just as most LGBTQ voters are expected to continue to do so on Nov. 8 in a city where all contestants with a chance of winning support LGBT rights.
In the case of the Nadeau-Czapary rivalry, Nadeau is considered part of the left-progressive faction of the Democratic Party, with Czapary being part of the moderate Democratic faction. With the Democratic Party dominating DC politics, the liberal left versus moderate factions appear to be the dividing line in DC’s Democratic primaries.
The Council’s remaining seat for this year’s election is in Ward 6, where incumbent Democrat Charles Allen, another longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights, runs unopposed Nov. 8.
In the sometimes-overlooked race for U.S. Representative to Congress, widely dubbed DC’s “shadow” seat in the U.S. House, incumbent Democrat Oye Owolewa is seen as the frontrunner over the Party nominee. State Green Joyce Robinson-Paul. Capital Stonewall Democrats endorsed Owolewa, who has expressed support for LGBTQ rights.
The Shadow House position, which has no power in Congress, was created in an amendment to the DC Home Rule Charter as a position to lobby Congress for DC statehood. and voting rights in DC’s Congress.
In the race for DC’s attorney general, Democrat Brian Schwalb, who won the Democratic primary in June, is running unopposed in the Nov. 8 general election. He, too, has expressed support for LGBTQ rights issues.
Longtime DC gay Democratic activist Earl Fowlkes, who serves as executive director of the DC-based national LGBTQ advocacy group Center for Black Equity, is among those who said LGBTQ DC residents sometimes resent the favorable political climate of DC’s local government. .
“One of the amazing things that has happened in DC in the last 27 years I’ve been here is the fact that LGBTQ+ issues have come to the fore and there’s universal agreement among almost everyone who run for any position or office they have to be strong in supporting LGBTQ+ issues,” Fowlkes told The Blade.
“It’s one of the best places in the world to live,” he said. “And thanks to our political system and people running for office who understand and have their finger on the pulse of the community, LGBTQ people are seen as equal citizens in the district,” Fowlkes said. “And there’s a lot of places in this country not far from here that can’t say that.”
In the traditionally nonpartisan races, seats on the DC State Board of Education will be elected Nov. 8 for Wards 1, 3, 5 and 6. Capital Stonewall Democrats did not take a position on the candidates for the Board of Education.
And the DC Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA), which evaluates candidates for mayor, DC council, and attorney general, does not evaluate candidates for school boards, or candidates for congressional delegate or office. seat of the Ghost Chamber.
Founded in 1971, GLAA is an all-volunteer nonpartisan LGBTQ advocacy group that bills itself as the nation’s oldest continuously operating LGBTQ organization. It rates local DC candidates since the 1970s on a rating scale of -10 to +10, which is the highest possible score showing strong support for LGBTQ equality.
But over the past year, he has come under fire from some local LGBTQ activists for basing his notes on specific, mostly non-LGBTQ issues that critics say represent a progressive left-wing view.
Among the issues the group is asking all candidates to take a position on in a mandatory 10-question questionnaire it sends out to candidates are the decriminalization of sex work, the reallocation of funds from the police budget to programs to prevent violence, support for affordable housing programs for low-income people. residents and support for the removal of criminal penalties for illegal possession of drugs for personal use.
Other questions on the GLAA questionnaire ask applicants whether LGBTQ people should have access to a housing voucher program, increase funding for the Office of Human Rights, which enforces non-discrimination laws relating to LGBTQ people, and whether the city’s minimum wage law should be repealed. .
The Tipped Wages Act is the subject of an initiative in the November 8 DC election ballot called Initiative 82, which calls to repeal the lower minimum wage for tipped workers and raise it to the full DC minimum wage. .
GLAA President Tyrone Hanley said important so-called non-LGBTQ issues such as affordable housing impact LGBTQ people just as they impact everyone else, and it’s important to ask candidates for public office to take a stand on these issues.
The group released its numerical scores in October along with responses to its questionnaire for 14 candidates who returned the questionnaire, including Mayor Bowser, who the group gave a +6 rating. To the 10 applicants who did not return the questionnaire, GLAA assigned a score of “0”.
Below is a list of candidates that GLAA has assessed along with their ratings. Also below is a link to the group’s explanation of why it issued its specific rating scores and to the questionnaire responses from the 14 applicants who returned the GLAA questionnaire.
Mayor of DC
Muriel Bowser (D) – +6
Rhonda Hamilton (I) written candidate – +4
Stacia room (D) – 0
Dennis Sobin (Libertarian) – 0
Rodney Red Grant (A) — 0
Chairman of the DC Council
Phil Mendelson (R) +6
Nate Derenge (R) – 0
Darry Moch (Statehood Green) – 0
DC General Council
Elissa Silverman (I) — +7
Kenyan McDuffie (I) — +6.5
Anita Bonds (D) — +6
David Schwartzman (Statehood Green) +6
Graham McLaughlin (I) — +5
Karim Marshall (I) — +4
Giuseppe Niosi (R) – 0
Fred Hill (A) – 0
DC Council Ward 1
Brianne Nadeau (D) — +9.5
Chris Otten (Statehood Green) – 0
DC Council Ward 5
Zachary Parker (D) +6.5
Clarence Lee (R) – 0
DC Council Ward 6
Charles Allen (R) +8.5
DC Attorney General
Brian Schwalb (R) +6
Copies of the applicants’ GLAA Questionnaire responses and GLAA’s explanation of why it issued specific ratings for applicants can be viewed here.