The competitive nature of the D.C. Council’s primaries left the general elections largely uncontested. Four of D.C.’s eight wards are holding elections for their Council representatives on Nov. 2. In addition, two of the four at-large seats and the Council Chairmanship are up for grabs.
David Catania (SFS ’90, LAW ’94), one of the incumbent at-large Council members, and an Independent, is virtually assured of re-election, due to a lack of competition. When Catania first announced his re-election bid in January, Reverend Anthony Motley, a political ally of Marion Barry and an opponent of Catania’s policies, announced his candidacy for the at-large seat, but was disqualified in September by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics due to a failure to collect 3,000 signatures to run for the election.
Catania has spent much of his three full terms fighting for the city’s recognition of same-sex unions and the legalization of same-sex marriage. He has been re-elected to full terms on the council in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Catania has also made progress in the health sector as chairman of the Committee on Health, which he has chaired for five years. Since he became chair of the committee in 2005, the number of uninsured D.C. residents has fallen by more than 50 percent.
Catania’s bid is also aided by D.C. electoral rules stating that one of the at-large seats must go to a politician who is not a member of the majority party on the Council, which is currently controlled by Democrats.
Democratic candidate Kwame Brown is also favored to win the council chairmanship. Brown has won endorsements from the labor unions and the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce. On Oct. 18, however, The Washington Post reported that Brown had more than $700,000 in debt and was being sued by credit card companies in the District of Columbia Superior Court for unpaid charges and interest over $55,000.
Brown defeated his major opponent, Vincent Orange, in the Democratic Primary on Sept. 24, 55 percent to 39 percent. He is running for chairman against a representative of the D.C. Statehood Green Party.
Ward 2, which includes Georgetown, is not holding elections this year.