Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Explainer: Key Information for the 2022 Midterm Elections in DC

With early voting for the 2022 midterm elections in Washington, D.C., beginning Oct. 31 in advance of Election Day on Nov. 8, The Hoya has compiled a comprehensive profile of the candidates running for Mayor and D.C. Council’s At-Large seats. 

While the D.C. Council seat for Ward 2, which contains Georgetown University’s campus, is not up for election during the 2022 cycle, voters will also cast their ballots on Initiative 82, which would change D.C.’s tipped wage rule and raise the minimum wage for workers who receive tips to the District-wide rate of $16.10.

Rebecca Zhu/The Hoya | The 2022 Midterm Elections will begin with early voting set to start on Oct. 31. Residents will be voting for a number of positions, including Mayor, Council Member At-Large, and the new initiative 82 on tipped wage.


Incumbent Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), who was first elected in 2014 and then re-elected in 2018, is running for what would become her third term as Mayor, and would become only second mayor to hold the office for three consecutive terms. 

In the Democratic primary last June, Bowser’s moderate stances allowed her to succeed over the more progressive views of Councilmember Robert White (D-At-Large), who finished second in the race with 40.5% of the vote. 

Bowser has been campaigning on her success with the overall recovery of D.C. following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as developments in health care and housing projects in the District. 

Key components of Bowser’s agenda for her next term include expanding affordable housing, improving D.C. public schools and investing in social programs Bowser believes will decrease street violence, while also arguing for expanding the police force. Bowser is also a firm advocate for D.C. statehood, and promises to maintain her commitment to the goal in her third term.

According to data collected by the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve from 1960 to 2018, there is no clear correlation between increased spending on policing and a decrease in crime.

Bowser has also been endorsed by several labor unions, The Washington Post and Emily’s List, an organization that funds pro-choice female candidates. 

Republican challenger Stacia Hall, a small business owner from Ward 3, will look to take down the incumbent Bowser after being the only GOP candidate to announce a run for mayor. Hall is a firm supporter of expanding policing activity, and believes that stronger police training programs will be one of the best solutions to deterring crime in the District. 

Hall has said police must work closely with communities they are located in to ensure that residents feel safe when they are around. According to a 2018 report, just 54% of D.C. residents agree the police do a good job to support their community in the District, with lower numbers for Black residents and residents of low-income wards. 

Citing her experience as a businesswoman, Hall hopes to promote economic growth following the pandemic by investing in small businesses.

According to Hall, changes she hopes to make to better balance the District’s budget will tackle infrastructure issues and WMATA delays that residents frequently endure. As an outsider to politics, Hall plans to work as a team player with the largely Democratic D.C. Council when working on policy. 

Entertainment executive and comedian Rodney Grant is running as an independent for Mayor. Grant is hoping to make crime prevention a top priority if elected, and like Bowser and Hall, he also plans to expand the D.C. police force. 

Grant believes better youth programming may prevent the spikes of juvenile crime seen in D.C. in recent years, and improving funding in the District’s violence prevention program, especially those focusing on mental health and deescalation, which he believes will decrease crime in the District. Grant also hopes to work on street safety, reducing traffic fatalities and reconstructing the traffic ticket system. 

Grant is also campaigning on increasing funding to revitalize small businesses following the pandemic, as well as better allocating funding towards affordable housing for D.C. residents. As an entertainer himself, Grant wants to expand the role of the film, music, sports and tech industries in the District as well.

Libertarian Dennis Sobin first ran for D.C. mayor 40 years ago. Now, the 79-year-old is running for D.C.’s highest office once again, despite his turbulent career that involves prison time for fraud and child pornography charges, and other failed political campaigns.  Sobin wants to fully legalizing drugs and sex work. 

D.C. Council At-Large

Incumbent Councilmember At-Large Elissa Silverman (I) is running for her third term since first being elected in 2014. In the D.C. Council, Silverman has served as a member of the Council Labor Committee and has been working to expand paid leave and increase minimum wage for District residents. 

Silverman wants to improve D.C. street safety, and supports a well-trained police department and funding violence interrupter programs. 

Silverman also wants to increase funding for low-income housing and expand programs that support housing payments for seniors on fixed incomes. Silverman hopes to allocate more funding for schools, especially those with students coming from high-poverty neighborhoods.

Current At-Large Council member and Chair of the Housing Committee Anita Bonds (D) is also running for reelection, and has held the position since 2012. Bonds wants to expand home ownership opportunities in the District by improving investments in affordable housing. 

Bonds also wants to ensure that there is greater communication between D.C. lawmakers and leaders of each D.C. ward.

Attorney Karim Marshall (I) is running in his first bid for Councilmember At-Large. Marshall hopes to significantly improve the education resources provided by the D.C. government to public schools by advancing equity-based funding, expanding tutoring programs, and funding essential school staff like counselors, psychologists and nurses.

Marshall wants to tackle the root cause of violence in the District in areas such as mental health, drug addiction and generational poverty by enhancing community-based violence prevention programs and expanding mental health crisis resources. 

Marshall also wants to make the D.C. housing market more accessible for individuals of all backgrounds and income levels. Marshall also promises to make the city itself a more environmentally-friendly place to live by cutting emissions in public transportation and making composting more accessible.

Air Force Veteran and businessman Fred Hill (I), who formerly served as chief division manager at the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, wants to prioritize public safety by restructuring the police department, EMS and emergency call center. 

Hill is also focused on poverty reduction in the District, and plans to work with the Council to create programs that will reduce unemployment and make housing in the District more affordable.

Current Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (I) decided to run a last-minute Independent bid for an At-Large seat. McDuffie suspended his race for Attorney General after election officials ruled he was ineligible for the job given that he is not currently an actively engaged attorney. McDuffie’s key public safety policies include removing barriers to affordable housing, preventing juvenile crime and creating a more transparent police department with the use of body cameras. 

McDuffie also wants to expand economic opportunity in the District by increasing grant funding for small businesses and supporting minority entrepreneurs. 

Retired professor David Schwartzman (G) is a strong environmental justice advocate who wants to see a Green New Deal implemented in D.C. He wants to focus on reducing gaps in income, achievement, life expectancy and health equity that exist in different parts of the District by amending the budget. 

Health executive Graham McLaughlin (I) wants to reform the D.C. jail using therapeutic rehabilitation and creating safer roads for cyclists and pedestrians. McLaughlin is also campaigning on a platform to lower homeownership barriers by building more affordable housing in the District and better regulating unnecessary spending in the District’s budget. 

Navy reservist Giuseppe Niosi (R) is prioritizing improvements to public safety, increased support for local businesses, and protection of school choice, a policy that allows families to choose their child’s education site. Niosi is also hoping to reform D.C. government spending and remove red tape for local businesses. 

Initiative 82 – Tipped Wage

Initiative 82 has the potential to significantly change the dining and serving experience in the District. Initiative 82 would require employers to pay their employees the District’s minimum wage of $16.10, a rate that would increase gradually until it would be fully in place by 2027. Under current tipped-wage rules, employers pay employees a minimum wage of $5.35 and must cover the rest of the District-wide minimum wage only if employees do not earn the remainder in tips. 

Critics have argued Initiative 82 may cause a decline in tips for servers, something they say  could cause businesses to suffer economic loss or cause them to close. Others argue the bill will help support low-income workers who are in need of increased wages, also arguing that oftentimes employers do not reallocate tips into the employee’s total earnings. 

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    DENNIS SOBINOct 29, 2022 at 7:25 am

    This is Dennis Sobin, Libertarian Candidate for Mayor. Thanks for your article about my police arrests and imprisonment for speaking out on behalf of sexual rights and other lifestyle minorities. Indeed I have been arrest almost as many times as Martin Luther King, with whom I once worked. He was no sexphobic. Thank you again.