The District of Columbia Primary Elections — at least for the city’s overwhelming number of registered Democrats — did not shake up the status quo. If voters were concerned about perceived ethical mistakes or miscues by the District Council, no one got called on it — perhaps not even at-large councilmember Vincent Orange, whose electoral results with repeat opponent Sekou Biddle seemed a replay of the 2011 special election. Several council members were asked about donations from contractor Jeffrey Thompson to their campaigns. Democrats may want to rock the vote, but they did not evidently want to rock the boat.
In the end, it was good to be an incumbent for everybody: at last count, Orange led challenger Sekou Biddle by 543 votes for an at-large District Council seat. Unofficial Board of Elections numbers as of April 3 were: Orange, 21,237; Biddle, 20,694. With almost all votes counted, Orange appears to have won by 1.02 percent (39.77 to 38.75), which may be enough. (A candidate’s lead must be at least one percent to avoid an automatic recount.) Peter Shapiro grabbed 10.51 percent of the vote; E. Gail Anderson Holness, 7.254 percent. There were 1,614 undervotes, i.e., no votes, as well as 335 write-ins.
All of the voting precincts have reported in, including earlier votes, while more than 3,830 absentee and provisional ballots have not yet been counted — at least that amount had been requested; the number of returns is uncertain. All votes will be counted by Friday, April 13, and then certified on April 18.
Most of Orange’s votes came from Wards 8, 7, 6 and 5, while Biddle (who finished third in the 2011 election behind Republican Patrick Mara), got most of his votes in Wards 3 and 2 — that includes Georgetown.
Indeed, a black-and-white tale is told by the mirror-image votes of Ward 2, which went for Biddle, and Ward 8, which went for Orange — roughly 63 to 12 percent in both cases.
Meanwhile, some folks who were imagining ominous signs for Ward 8’s forever political leader Marion Barry were imagining in a major and mistaken manner. Barry swept aside several challengers with ease, winning 72.5 percent of the vote, and simultaneously blazed new Twitter frontiers for himself and his peeps with his election night comments. Other incumbents also did well: Muriel Bowser swept to victory with 65.39 percent in Ward 4, and Yvonne Alexander held up strongly in Ward 7 with 41.9 percent as her two top challengers—Tom Brown and Kevin B. Chavous split the vote, getting 22.45 percent and 21.42 percent, respectively.
Georgetown’s Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans ran unopposed.
The general election is on Nov. 6.
The District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics website displays all the latest election results: DCBOEE.org.