With All Votes Counted, Orange Will Keep Council Seat

At an April 15 Sunday brunch at the Hamilton on 14th Street, Councilmember Vincent Orange thanked his supporters and his staff members, who joined him (center) on the stage. | Robert Devaney

It’s official. Vincent Orange will keep his at-large seat on the city council after a count of absentee and provisional ballots from the April 3 elections.

Orange initially had a very narrow lead of 543 votes over his main challenger, Sekou Biddle, who was making his second bid for the seat he had held on an interim basis after being appointed to the seat held by council chairman Kwame Brown.

The count of the absentee ballots and provisional votes gave Orange—who had gotten peripherally caught up in the scandal surrounding donations given by contractor Jeffrey Thompson to various council members as well as Mayor Vincent Gray—a final 1,746 margin, beyond the one-percent advantage required.

That means Orange should be secure in the seat, barring a formidable Republican candidate in November.

It also means there were no upsets or changes on the council in the elections. All Democratic incumbents running—Orange, Muriel Bowser in Ward 4, Jack Evans in Ward 2, Marion Barry in Ward 8 and Yvonne Alexander in Ward 7 won their primary races.

There will be at least one new member on the council after a special election in May to fill the seat left empty by the departure Harry Thomas, Jr.

The election results mirrored an earlier special election result in which Orange won big in Ward 8 and 7 but polled badly in the primarily more affluent and white Wards 3 and 2.

In the Nov. 6 general election, which puts up two at large seats of which one must be a non-Democratic seat, Orange will be on the ballot with independent Michael Brown, Republican Mary Brooks Beatty, independent David Grosso and D.C. Statehood-Green Party nominee Ann Wilcox.

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