Exclusive Interview: Meet Republican Council Candidate Guiseppe Niosi
By October 31, 2022 One Comment 1810•
D.C.’s general election will be held Nov. 8. In Ward 2, along with incumbent Mayor Muriel Bowser (endorsed by The Georgetowner), who is considered a shoe-in over her three rivals, there are two choices to be made for an At-large District Council seat. In this race, incumbents Anita Bonds (Democrat) and Elissa Silverman (Independent) appear to have the edge on their contenders, Independents Karim D. Marshall, Fred Hill, Kenyan McDuffie and Graham McLaughlin as well as DC Statehood Green’s David Schwartzman and, finally, Republican Giuseppe Niosi.
(It should be noted that The Georgetowner has endorsed Anita Bonds and Kenyan McDuffie for an At-large District Council seat.)
No Republican sits on the D.C. Council, and fewer than 10 percent of eligible D.C. voters are registered Republican. Washingtonians may recall Republican Council members Carol Schwartz and David Catania (later an Independent). Still, for the GOP, D.C. is a lonely, cold place.
You wouldn’t know that if you talked to Giuseppe Niosi, a Republican who is running for an At-large District Council seat, and is a third-generation Washingtonian and Navy reservist. You may have even seen a few of his campaign signs in Georgetown. The 30-year-old Niosi brings an energy and earnestness, one can admire, regardless of party.
Last week, The Georgetowner met Niosi when he was distributing campaign literature to homes along P Street and knocking on doors. The candidate happened to meet former Council member Jack Evans in front of his house. Niosi says he has been in all eight wards and could be helped by the Silverman scandal.
Whatever the outcome, Niosi, a resident of Shaw, will continue to be involved in D.C. public life and was more than happy to answer a few of our questions.
What prompted you to make this run for the District Council?
Public service has always been important to me. When I graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, I fulfilled my national service to protect this country, namely our trade routes across the globe. Having finished my commitment, I am working to fight for all of Washington, D.C., to serve the community that gave me the tools I needed to be in the position I am in today. Washington, D.C., is a special place. It is home for me, and it sickens me to see it not taken care of. People are leaving because of high crime, high taxes and no support from elected officials.
People are leaving in droves, and we have not done anything to encourage people to come back. I love this city, and I will do everything in my position to correct the course, turn the page, and make D.C. a more welcoming place to all.
You make a strong case for your number-one issue — crime and public safety. How would you convince fellow Council members and the executive side of the D.C. government that your solutions need to be implemented to “save the city”? And that it is the top priority.
I have always been naturally good at working in a team, including people from all backgrounds to rally for a common goal. I would work to negotiate with my fellow Council members, figure out our commonality, and urge them to do as I do, listening to the impacted residents day in and day out. As I have been trained to do, I will lead by example. I will show up to communities across all eight wards and work directly with the community leaders to help mitigate this problem. I will facilitate sit-down meetings with members of our police force so that their voices can be heard when we write policy.
How did you become a member of the Republican Party? Where do you stand on some of the so-called extremist views of the party?
I am a “Washington, D.C.” Republican. I am a third-generation Washingtonian, and my views are formed through my local upbringing.
I am a Republican because I believe in the principles of limited but competent government, fiscal responsibility and vibrant communities. I support empowering individuals and families to make the best decisions, which is why I support parental choice in education.
I have always been socially progressive, living and growing up in Washington, D.C. However, at an early age, I learned to be fiscally responsible. My father, who owned and operated a small local business, taught me the value of money, how to save it, and to do research before spending. Businesses know how best to run their affairs, which is why I would cut government red tape. More so, I believe that all Washingtonians deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods, so they can flourish, which is why I am focused on public safety for all.
I am someone who can work well with others, listen to others, and include diverse thoughts to achieve common goals. Governing shouldn’t be about red vs. blue – it should be about delivering the best results for our citizens – all of them.
Do you support D.C. statehood? Are there other ways to attain more representation in Congress?
I support statehood, but we are not prepared as a city currently to bring forth that kind of change. Instead of dying on that hill, we should focus on getting our local affairs in order to build widespread support for statehood since we will need to convince the relevant state legislatures around the country.
We need better public safety, schools and a more robust local economy. We need to do things to entice people to come live in Washington, D.C., stay here, raise families here, and grow our communities. Whatever we have been trying to do with raising support nationally for statehood has not been working. I think it’s high time to re-negotiate other things which may be more advantageous to Washingtonians, such as lowering the national income tax.
For you, what’s the best thing about Washington, D.C.?
Washington, D.C., has a great culture that resonates around the country and the world. We are both the capital of the free world and a community of locals who bear that responsibility daily. Our commitment to doing the right thing is apparent even today with our license plates exclaiming the famous motto, “No taxation without representation.” This is what our country is built on; this is what we are committed to.
We are the center of American democracy; we house the Supreme Court, the White House and the Capitol. All eyes are on us, and all have varied expectations of how we steward this great city. It is our duty to uphold the foundation of the most significant political experiment of all humankind.
Which part of your experience has best prepared you for public office?
Every experience I have in life compounds to give me the mindset I currently have today. It’s not merely one moment but a sequence of moments. I have experience working through the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute, which gave me the wherewithal to recognize how community efforts impact our youth at a young age. I worked as an intern for a summer in Congresswoman Norton’s office, where I saw firsthand how her local team governed. I received my congressional nomination to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where I learned discipline and how to work as a team to accomplish common goals. I graduated as a commissioned officer in the Navy Reserve, where I constantly work on perfecting my leadership techniques. When I sailed on Naval Supply Vessels, I learned time management and how to accomplish tasks in a meaningful way so they wouldn’t impact the ship’s logistical goals. My entire life has a purpose directed to this moment. As a native Washingtonian, I believe it is my duty to do what I can to make Washington, D.C., a better place for all.
How do you meet your wife, Renee? What does she think about your running for office?
I met my darling wife, Renee, at a small coffee shop in Vienna, Virginia. Our original coffee date turned into several hours of walking and talking. Our encounter happened because I was in the area helping my grandmother run some errands.
Renee has been the lighthouse in the storm, formidable and unwavering in her support. Our relationship is built on communication; She has been nothing less than supportive of my aspiration for public service, especially since I am running to address issues that affect everyone in D.C. She has given up countless hours of her weekends and evenings to knock on doors with me, stuff envelopes, make phone calls and attend community events. I am forever grateful for her love and support.
After the election, what are your plans for public service?
I plan to continue working with others across the aisle to address shared goals. As a candidate, I have fostered an excellent base of support which I will continue to work with, and I look forward to growing that base in the future. I am passionate about mentorship and development programs where our youth and young adults are guided through challenges they may face in their lives.