Bowser Re-elected for Third Term: Few Surprises in D.C.


It’s always a bit ironic to go through all the months (sometimes years) of hype about a big national election in Washington, D.C. — the fervent destination of hundreds of candidates and the focus of thousands of national journalists. The local election itself in D.C. moved forward with scarcely a controversy. Election 2022 was particularly unsurprising, especially in Ward 2.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and District Council Chair Phil Mendelson — both running for their third four-year terms — and D.C. Delegate to the House of Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton running for her 17th term won handily. Brian Schwalb ran unopposed for D.C. Attorney General.  The only competitive race was for two At-Large Council seats on the City Council, which Democrat incumbent Anita Bonds won easily. The second spot was taken by outgoing Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie, now an independent, who beat out the incumbent independent At-large Council member Elissa Silverman. (Bonds and McDuffie were endorsed by The Georgetowner.)

The new Ward 3 and Ward 5 Council members will be Matt Frumin and Zachary Parker, respectively.

In the only competitive race in the Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2E), Christopher “Topher” Mathews was leading at 61.54 percent (200 votes) over Patrick Clawson 36 percent (117 votes) in single-member district 2E02. Paul Maysak was the write-in winner for 2E05. Another newcomer will be Mimsy Lindner for 2E05.

The minimum wage for tipped workers Initiative 82 won 74 percent to 26 percent. The minimum wage for such workers — currently set at $5.05 — would incrementally increase until, beginning in 2027, it matches the minimum wage for non-tipped workers, currently at $15.20 per hour. A similar result in 2016 was negated by the D.C. Council.

During Election Day, poll monitors at the Georgetown voting stations at the Georgetown Public Library on R Street and at Hardy Middle School told The Georgetowner that the crowds had been steady, calm and not crowded until around 6 p.m. when there were lines at both sites. But they and several of the voters in line expressed satisfaction, even happiness to be there. “It’s so wonderful to go through the ritual of voting in person, seeing others voting, talking to people afterwards, even getting the voting sticker to wear,” said Mike, an election volunteer at the library for the past five elections. “I always feel good to do it.”

“People started clapping when poll registrars called out a ‘first time voter,’ ” said Sue Hamilton. “It was so exciting. It happened twice when I was at the Georgetown Library.”

Near Dupont Circle, the Woman’s National Democratic Club was decorated, television on (CNN), with tables of food and beverages and buzzing with close to 100 people in the main hall by 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening for an election watch party. The Democrats also hosted a group of 12 municipal leaders from Finland who were in D.C. on a trade mission, had met with Mayor Bowser earlier in the day and were enjoying watching the election excitement. When WNDC members were asked how they were feeling pre-election returns and with all the press predicting a “red wave,” many answered: “scared, but hopeful,” doubtful and optimistic” and “we’ll see.” Many told The Georgetowner they had worked to “Get Out the Vote” for months.

Meanwhile, after 8 p.m. on election night, Mayor Bowser spoke to about 150 people at Hook Hall on Georgia Avenue. Knowing that next year she will likely be dealing with a Republican House of Representatives, Bowser said, “No matter who picks on us, we will fight back. We are all Washingtonians. We care about our city.”

As election returns came in, it can be said that two things were made clear election night: There was no red wave, and democracy can be said to be alive and well in the U.S.A.

 

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