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

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.

NPR

Surfers And Scientists Team Up To Create The 'Perfect Wave'

Surfers once deemed man-made waves weak and mushy compared to the best that break along the coast. Then engineers and an 11-time world champion surfer showed just how good an artificial wave can be.

Leave a Comment

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