Candidate Brooke Pinto declared herself the winner in last week’s heavily contested Democratic primary for Ward 2’s District Council seat. She looks to go on to become the youngest Council member and the first Ward 2 rep to succeed Jack Evans in almost 30 years.
The latest update from the Board of Elections of the totals for the major candidates for the Ward 2 seat, from Friday afternoon, June 5, were: Pinto, 2,967 (28.36%); Patrick Kennedy, 2,620 (25.04%); and Grossman, 2,266 (21.66%). The final results have not been certified.
“I am proud to have won the Ward 2 Democratic Primary,” the presumptive winner said in a statement. “I want to thank Ward 2 residents and voters who have put their trust in me to lead and care for our community. … I promise to make you proud.
“My attention is now focused on the Special Election to fill the vacant Ward 2 Council seat. We must now unite and begin the hard work of recovering from COVID-19 and healing the wounds of division caused by systemic racism and injustice. Let’s get to work.”
A former assistant D.C. attorney general, the 28-year-old Pinto was first endorsed by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and also garnered endorsements from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), along with the Washington Post. Hailing from Connecticut, Pinto went to Cornell and Georgetown Law. She did not use the public campaign financing program. A newcomer to D.C., she was the last to enter the Ward 2 race.
“With the latest update from the Board of Elections, and after discussions with my supporters, I am now conceding in the Ward 2 primary and special elections,” said Patrick Kennedy, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who earlier appeared to be leading in the contest and was the first to announce for the Ward 2 race in 2019.
“Our city and our country will have to confront enormous challenges in the months and years ahead, including structural racism in our society, overcoming a global pandemic and dealing with its consequences. It is particularly important for Ward 2 residents to have certain leadership and a seated representative on the Council to represent them in those difficult conversations.
Kennedy continued: “While I would have liked to be that representative, based on the number of ballots left to be counted, Brooke Pinto is the presumptive Democratic nominee for Ward 2. I wish her success in the fall campaign, and provided that the results of the special election accelerate her transition to office, I will support her and her team where I can.”
Former Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, who held the seat for nearly three decades before relinquishing it in January due to ethics violation accusations, had only 344 votes by the end of June 5.
The Board of Elections estimated that some 107,121 ballots were cast citywide by last week — 26.11 percent of 410,260 registered voters. In Ward 2, there were 11,234 ballots cast out of 37,231 registered voters, representing 30.17 percent.
The special election for the Ward 2 seat to finish out Evans’s term, running to January of 2021, is set for June 16. Grossman and Kennedy have pulled out of that election, as has Republican Katherine Venice.