Ron Moten, head of the anti-violence group, Peaceaholics, says he will run for the Ward 7 council seat as a civil rights Republican.
Moten, formerly a Democrat, announced his decision to leave the left party last late last week. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Moten says blind support for Democrats has left Washington politically stagnant, and says if the District had a competitive GOP, perhaps Republicans in Congress would be less opposed to the city's push for voting rights.
D.C.'s local Republican Party welcomed the move, calling it a brave and courageous decision. Politically speaking, Moten's move both helps and hurts his chances of winning a council seat. On one hand, he avoids a crowded Democratic primary; on the other hand, Democrats hold a 9 to 1 edge over Republicans in registered voters.