Incumbent Democrat Brooke Pinto (LAW ’17) handily won reelection to keep her seat as Ward 2’s representative to the Council of the District of Columbia.
Pinto garnered 68.83% of the vote. Independent candidate Randy Downs followed, gaining 20.33% of the vote, with independent candidate Martín Miguel Fernandez and Statehood Green Party member Peter Bolton winning 6.98% and 2.83% of the vote, respectively.
The campaign was defined by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and a summer of massive protests for racial justice in Washington, D.C. Candidates’ platforms centered on issues of pandemic recovery and Metropolitan Police Department reform. The race became more heated as Pinto’s opponents leveled accusations of unethical conduct and corruption during the campaign, citing a campaign finance complaint filed against Pinto in June.
Pinto’s platform addressed a variety of issues, including small business support, housing, criminal justice reform and racial equality, among others. In response to the election’s outcome, Pinto promised to represent all her constituents from Ward 2 on the D.C. Council.
“I look forward to continuing to represent all of the residents of Ward 2 on the DC Council,” Pinto wrote in a tweet Wednesday. “As I have done during my current term, I will continue to seek out and work with diverse perspectives that will benefit our city.”
Downs has vowed to keep advocating for the issues on his platform, which covered issues similar to Pinto’s, including education, community-focused public safety, pandemic response and voters’ rights. He emphasized that this setback will not stop his efforts to create change.
“Although this election did not go the way we hoped, our fight is not over,” Downs wrote in a tweet. “I will continue to work with you for COVID recovery that prioritizes the needs of residents, workers, and small businesses. I will continue to fight alongside you for affordable housing so that long-standing residents can stay in our community and new neighbors aren’t shut out by high costs. And together we will keep fighting to ensure that our public safety measures work for, not against, our residents.”
Downs will continue serving as the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, where he has advocated for environmental sustainability and LGBT rights.
Pinto’s reelection follows her win in June’s special election, during which she became the first woman to represent Ward 2 and, at age 28, the youngest D.C. councilmember in history.
The city held a special election following resignation of former Councilmember Jack Evans, who had served on the council for almost 29 years. Evans stepped down amid accusations of ethical misconduct related to conflicts between his council role and his employment as a private lawyer and consultant.
Previously, Pinto worked in the Office of the Attorney General as a tax attorney representing the Office of Tax and Revenue and also as the Assistant Attorney General for Policy and Legislative Affairs, where she drafted and introduced legislation to the council on a variety of issues.
She earned her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and later graduated from Georgetown University Law Center.
This is a developing story. The Pinto campaign has yet to respond to a request for comment