WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Candidates Dropping Democratic Affiliation To Avoid Crowded Primary

Play associated audio

In the race for a D.C. Council seat, a long-time Democrat is dropping out to run as an independent — and it may be a sign of things to come.

Longtime city activist Bryan Weaver announced on Wednesday that he's exiting the April 1 primary race for the Ward 1 seat on the D.C. Council, setting up a one-on-one contest between incumbent council member Jim Graham and Brianne Nadaeu.

Weaver, who was being out-raised nearly 2 to 1 by Nadeau, says in a statement that D.C.'s primary system often creates situations where multiple challengers split the anti-incumbent vote. Weaver says he will run in the general as, in his words, a "progressive independent."

Weaver's decision follows the announcement of Council member David Catania, who has been an independent since 2004 and is exploring a possible bid in the general election for mayor. A recent poll found a neck-and-neck race between him and Mayor Vincent Gray.

In D.C., general elections have long been considered "after-thoughts" because of the city's nearly 8 to 1 ratio of registered Democrats to Republicans. The real action was during the primary.

But that may be changing. Doug Sloan, a campaign strategist who has worked on several D.C. races, says there's a big reason more candidates may be eyeing the general — and not the primary — as a viable route to office: the calendar. The D.C. Council changed the primary date from September to April.

"This new early primary date of April 1 will allow candidates who choose to run in the general to more time introduce themselves to the electorate," he says.

And Sloan says general election candidates not only get more time, they get more hours of daylight.

"The days get longer in the summer. You won't get dark until 8 or 8:30. That's a lot more canvas time than you have right now," he says.

When the D.C. Council voted to push the primary up to April, many political observers noted it seemed to benefit the incumbents for the primary. But in a twist that few saw coming, it may have made their general election races a lot harder.

NPR

For Penn & Teller's Magical Partnership, The Trick Is Telling The Truth

The duo Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller are back on Broadway. They both talk — yes, even Teller — with NPR's Scott Simon about magic, danger and the remarkable endurance of their 40-year partnership.
NPR

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.
NPR

Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

My Cat Xavier For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow superPAC backed Hank the Cat in the 2012 Virginia Senate election. Xavier also cared about naps, treats, and prison reform.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.