Kenyan McDuffie

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Kenyan McDuffie
Kenyan McDuffie.jpg
Washington, D.C. City Council
Ward 5
In office
Term ends
January 2, 2019
Years in position 3
Chair Pro Tempore
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected2012
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sHoward University
J.D.University of Maryland
Place of birthWashington, D.C.
ReligionAttorney and Policy Adviser
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Kenyan McDuffie is a Democratic member of the Washington, D.C. City Council, representing Ward 5. He was first elected in 2012 in a special election following the resignation of former council member Harry Thomas.[1][2]

In January 2013, the D.C. City Council elected McDuffie as Council Chair Pro Tempore.[3]


McDuffie was born in Washington, D.C. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Community Development from Howard University and a J.D. from the University of Maryland. His professional experience includes working on the staff of Washington, D.C. delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, Eleanor Holmes Norton, as a Policy Adviser to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice and as a Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Before earning his law degree, McDuffie worked as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.[2]


Campaign themes


On his campaign website, McDuffie highlighted the following issues:[4]

Minimum wage

  • Excerpt: "As Councilmember, Kenyan has consistently promoted laws and policies that enhance quality job opportunities for DC residents. That is why he voted to raise the minimum wage for everyone working in DC from $8.25 to $11.50/hour and to enhance paid sick leave benefits for District workers. Kenyan also voted in favor of the Large Retailer Accountability Act, which would have required multi-million dollar chain retailers to pay their employees a living wage."

Economic development

  • Excerpt: "Promoting economic development in Ward 5 and ensuring the success of the ward’s small businesses is one of Kenyan’s top priorities. Ward 5 residents have long been clamoring for the amenities and offerings found in other areas of the city. That is why Kenyan is focusing his attention on business attraction and retention, and is working with representatives of Monroe Street Market and Rhode Island Row to ensure quality, neighborhood-serving restaurants and retail in these catalytic projects."


  • Excerpt: "As a graduate of DC Public Schools, Kenyan knows the importance of a robust public school system. He has championed the modernization of existing schools as well as funding for the construction of two DCPS middle schools. In the FY14 budget, Kenyan worked with the Committee on Education to preserve funds for the modernization of Brookland Middle School and Spingarn High School, and to ensure that funds were available to complete the FY14 renovation of Dunbar High School. He also arranged for the fast-tracking of Langdon Elementary School’s modernization, so that it will be completed a year ahead of schedule."

Public safety

  • Excerpt: "Ward 5 experienced the greatest reduction in crime in the city over the past year , but Kenyan has nevertheless remained vigilant about securing the Ward 5 community. He takes a proactive approach to crime prevention by addressing blight with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and maintaining a close relationship with MPD, Fire and EMS, and the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Public Safety and Justice."



See also: Washington, D.C. Council elections, 2014

Washington, D.C. held city council elections on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on April 1. Incumbent Kenyan McDuffie defeated Kathy Henderson, Paul Hines, Jacqueline Manning and Carolyn Steptoe in the Democratic primary, while Preston Cornish was unopposed in the Libertarian primary. McDuffie defeated Cornish in the general election.[5][6][7]

Washington, D.C. City Council, Ward 5, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKenyan McDuffie Incumbent 83.9% 19,290
     Libertarian Preston Cornish 6.5% 1,488
     Other Write-in 0.9% 199
     Other Over and Under Votes 8.7% 2,007
Total Votes 22,984
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
Washington D.C. City Council Ward 5 Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKenyan McDuffie Incumbent 78.4% 9,532
Kathy Henderson 15% 1,822
Carolyn Steptoe 6.2% 755
Write-in 0.5% 56
Total Votes 12,165
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections

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Political offices
Preceded by
Harry Thomas
Washington, D.C. City Council, District 5
Succeeded by