Washington, D.C. municipal elections, 2014

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Washington, D.C.

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The city of Washington, D.C. held elections for mayor and city council on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on April 1, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was January 2, 2014.

The District of Columbia holds closed primaries, meaning only voters registered with that political party can vote in the primary. Citizens had to complete party affiliation changes by March 3, 2014, in order to vote in the primary.[1] Candidates looking to qualify for the ballot as an independent candidate needed to turn in petitions 90 days prior to the November 4 election, which was August 6, 2014.

Seven of Washington, D.C.'s city council seats were up for election. These included the chairmanship, two at-large seats, and wards 1, 3, 5 and 6.

An incumbent ran for re-election in every race except Ward 6. Ward 6 incumbent Tommy Wells (D) ran in the Democratic primary for Mayor on April 1, but lost. Two incumbents were eliminated in the primary election: Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and Ward 1 incumbent Jim Graham (D). Gray lost to Ward 4 representative Muriel Bowser (D), while Graham lost to newcomer Brianne Nadeau (D).

Incumbents who ran in the general election included Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and Anita Bonds (D), Mary Cheh (D) and Kenyan McDuffie (D) in the at-large race and wards 1, 3 and 5, respectively.

On November 4, Muriel Bowser won the mayoral race, making her the second female mayor in Washington, D.C.'s history.[2] Phil Mendelson won re-election as the Chairman of City Council. At-large incumbent Anita Bonds also won re-election. She will be joined by Elissa Silverman (I), who won election to an at-large seat. Brianne Nadeau was elected to the Ward 1 seat, while Charles Allen (D) won the Ward 6 seat. Incumbents Mary Cheh in Ward 3 and Kenyan McDuffie in Ward 5 both won re-election.

Public transportation, cost of living, school reform and marijuana were some of the key issues that shaped Washington, D.C.'s 2014 election cycle.

Mayor

Candidate list

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Muriel Bowser Green check mark transparent.png
Green Party Faith
Libertarian Party Bruce Majors
Independent David Catania
Independent Nestor Djonkam
Independent Carol Schwartz

Polling

2014 Mayor of Washington, D.C.
Poll Muriel Bowser David CataniaCarol SchwartzOtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
NBC4/Washington Post/Marist DC Poll
(September 14-16, 2014)
43%24%17%1%15%+/-31,070
Economic Growth DC CapitalDecision2014 Poll
(September 28-30, 2014)
35%27%11%0%27%+/-31,023
AVERAGES 39% 25.5% 14% 0.5% 21% +/-3 1,046.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Election results

Mayor of Washington, D.C. General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMuriel Bowser 54.5% 96,666
     Independent Nestor Djonkam 0.3% 460
     Independent David Catania 34.6% 61,388
     Green Faith 0.9% 1,520
     Independent Carol Schwartz 7% 12,327
     Libertarian Bruce Majors 0.7% 1,297
     Other Write-in 0.9% 1,612
     Other Under and Over Votes 1.2% 2,088
Total Votes 177,358
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
Mayor of Washington, D.C. Democratic Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMuriel Bowser 43.4% 42,045
Vincent Gray Incumbent 32.6% 31,613
Jack Evans 5% 4,877
Andy Shallal 3.3% 3,196
Reta Lewis 0.5% 490
Vincent Orange 2% 1,946
Carlos Allen 0.1% 120
Tommy Wells 12.8% 12,393
Write-in 0.2% 235
Total Votes 96,915
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - Primary Election Results

City council

Candidate list

Chairman

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Phil Mendelson Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Kyle Walker
Republican Party Kris Hammond
Green Party G. Lee Aikin
Independent John C. Cheeks

At-Large

Note: Two at-large seats were up for election. Incumbent David Catania (I) did not run for re-election.

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:
Green PartyApril 1 D.C. Statehood Green Party primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Independent Michael D. Brown
Libertarian Party Frederick Steiner
Independent Eric J. Jones
Independent Kishan Putta
Independent Wendell Felder
Green Party Eugene Puryear
Independent Courtney R. Snowden
Democratic Party Anita Bonds Green check mark transparent.png
Independent Brian Hart
Independent Robert White
Independent Calvin H. Gurley
Independent Elissa Silverman Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Marc Morgan
Independent Graylan Scott Hagler
Independent Khalid Pitts

Ward 1

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Brianne Nadeau Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party John Vaught LaBeaume
Independent Ernest E. Johnson

Ward 3

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Mary Cheh Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Ryan Sabot

Ward 5

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Kenyan McDuffie Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Preston Cornish

Ward 6

Note: Incumbent Tommy Wells did not run for re-election.

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Charles Allen Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Pranav Badhwar

Election results

[edit]

Washington, D.C. City Council, Chairman, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPhil Mendelson Incumbent 77.8% 138,066
     Republican Kris Hammond 6.8% 12,114
     Libertarian Kyle Walker 2.1% 3,674
     Green G. Lee Aikin 3.3% 5,930
     Independent John C. Cheeks 3.9% 6,949
     Other Write-in 0.5% 849
     Other Over and Over Votes 5.5% 9,776
Total Votes 177,358
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
Washington, D.C. City Council, At-large, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAnita Bonds Incumbent 24.1% 85,575
     Independent Green check mark transparent.pngElissa Silverman 11.6% 41,300
     Independent Michael D. Brown 8.1% 28,614
     Libertarian Frederick Steiner 1.1% 3,766
     Independent Eric J. Jones 1.2% 4,405
     Independent Kishan Putta 1.7% 6,135
     Independent Wendell Felder 0.8% 2,964
     Green Eugene Puryear 3.5% 12,525
     Independent Courtney R. Snowden 5.5% 19,551
     Independent Brian Hart 2.5% 8,933
     Independent Robert White 6.3% 22,198
     Independent Calvin H. Gurley 1.3% 4,553
     Republican Marc Morgan 2.8% 9,947
     Independent Graylan Scott Hagler 3% 10,539
     Independent Khalid Pitts 2.9% 10,392
     Other Write-in 0.4% 1,472
     Other Over and Under Votes 23.1% 81,847
Total Votes 354,716
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
Washington, D.C. City Council, Ward 1, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrianne Nadeau 75.3% 17,024
     Libertarian John Vaught LaBeaume 3.7% 829
     Independent Ernest E. Johnson 8.9% 2,021
     Other Write-in 0.9% 207
     Other Over and Under Votes 11.2% 2,535
Total Votes 22,616
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
Washington, D.C. City Council, Ward 3, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMary Cheh Incumbent 78% 20,314
     Libertarian Ryan Sabot 11.3% 2,940
     Other Write-in 1.4% 365
     Other Over and Under Votes 9.3% 2,431
Total Votes 26,050
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
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 6, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCharles Allen 79.5% 23,668
     Libertarian Pranav Badhwar 10.5% 3,127
     Other Write-in 0.8% 237
     Other Over and Under Votes 9.2% 2,751
Total Votes 29,783
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results

Washington D.C. City Council Chairman Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPhil Mendelson Incumbent 81.2% 69,138
Calvin Gurley 17.8% 15,178
Write-in 1% 825
Total Votes 85,141
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections
Washington D.C. City Council At-Large Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngAnita Bonds Incumbent 53.2% 43,586
Nate Bennett Fleming 22.3% 18,232
Pedro Rubio 7.4% 6,082
John Settles, II 13.2% 10,775
Kevin Valentine Jr. 3.1% 2,560
Write-in 0.8% 624
Total Votes 81,859
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections
Washington D.C. City Council Ward 1 Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBrianne Nadeau 58.7% 6,688
Jim Graham Incumbent 40.8% 4,642
Write-in 0.5% 57
Total Votes 11,387
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections
Washington D.C. City Council Ward 3 Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMary Cheh Incumbent 95.8% 11,484
Write-in 4.2% 503
Total Votes 11,987
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections
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
Washington D.C. City Council Ward 6 Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngCharles Allen 58.2% 8,851
Darrel Thompson 41.6% 6,329
Write-in 0.2% 38
Total Votes 15,218
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections

Issues

Because of the city's size and historical and political significance, Washington, D.C.'s municipal elections are naturally high-profile events. At the same time, they can also be complicated and difficult for voters to navigate. Below, Ballotpedia highlights some of Washington, D.C.'s key issues and explains how they impacted the city's 2014 municipal elections.

For more information on the major issues in Washington, D.C.'s municipal elections, see also the coverage by the Washington Post.

Public transportation

Proposed-37-Mile-Streetcar-System-600x796.jpg

As with previous D.C. municipal elections, public transportation was a major issue in 2014. The focus was largely on the city's 36-mile long streetcar project, which can be seen on the map to the right.[3] The streetcar project began in the early 2000s as part of an effort by city hall to alleviate what many viewed as an overburdened public bus and rail system. Since its inception, the project has faced several setbacks due to budget cuts and resistance from local neighborhoods and critics on city council, who criticized the program's efficacy and high cost. D.C.'s 2014 municipal candidates spoke out both in favor and against streetcars.[4]

The conversation about public transportation also touched upon expanding bike lanes, revising bus lines and taking advantage of new urban transportation options such as Uber and Lyft.[5]

Cost of living

Equally important in 2014 was D.C.'s cost of living. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in September 2014, D.C. ranked first in the nation in terms of basic living expenses, outpacing other high-price cities such as San Francisco, New York City and San Diego.[6] 2014's municipal candidates did not shy away from the issue. Some advocated dedicating additional city funds to affordable housing projects, while others pushed for tax incentive programs to encourage developers to build more low-income housing units.[7][5]

School reform

Washington D.C.'s new elementary school boundaries

As important as public transportation and cost of living were to D.C. citizens, school reform emerged as arguably the most dominant issue in the 2014 mayoral race.[8] School reform has a long history in D.C., and prior to the 2014 elections the city's education system had seen dramatic improvements in terms of student performance, teacher quality and test scores, difficult problems remained.[8] The key issue in 2014 was the uneven quality of D.C. schools. While some neighborhood schools had experienced the improvements described above, many others had not. The result was that schools with higher performance records, such as those in the northwestern part of the city, became highly competitive and, in some cases, over-enrolled. Conversely, lower performance schools, such as those east of the Anacostia River, became underused (see the map right). In the opinion of many D.C. citizens and political candidates, the uneven quality of local schools reflected not only a geographical divide, but a racial and socioeconomic one as well.[9]

To address this problem, outgoing Mayor Vincent Gray's (D) administration introduced a plan in 2014 to redraw school boundaries that would assign students to specific neighborhood schools throughout the city. The plan also provided pathways for students to attend schools outside their assigned region - an especially important issue to families living in zones that lack high-performance schools.[10] Opinions on the plan varied through the 2014 election cycle.

Some claimed that the new boundaries could prohibit students in lower-income areas from having access to the same quality of education available in higher-income areas. Others, however, pointed out that the new boundaries could force neighborhoods and the city to come face-to-face with the unevenness of D.C. schools. The 2014 mayoral candidates were particularly vocal about the plan. Muriel Bowser (D) vowed to undo the plan.[11] David Catania (I) said that he would delay redrawing school boundaries in order to provide more time for lower-performance schools to improve. Carol Schwartz (I) also argued in favor of delaying implementation.[8][12]

For general information on the public school system in Washington, D.C., see Ballotpedia's analysis here.

Marijuana

In the November general election, Washington, D.C. voters were asked to approve or disapprove a ballot measure aimed at legalizing the possession and use of small to medium amounts of marijuana. The measure, known as Initiative 71, allowed D.C. residents to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, to grow up to six cannabis plants and to use or sell marijuana related paraphernalia. The measure was passed on November 4, 2014.

Initiative 71 superseded Washington, D.C.'s current marijuana policies. In March 2014, the D.C. City Council passed a law known as the Marijuana Decriminalization Bill. The bill reduced penalties for possessing an ounce of marijuana or less from six months in prison and a $1,000 fine to no jail time and a $25 fine for possession or a $100 fine for public use.[13]

Supporters of the initiative argued that legalization will make marijuana users safer, while opponents argued that the initiative violates federal law.

Mayoral candidates Muriel Bowser and David Catania both came out in support of the initiative.[13] Candidate Carol Schwartz said that she did not support legalization.[14]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. District of Columbia, "Board of Elections, Candidate Guide to Ballot Access," accessed December 17, 2013
  2. Washington Post, "D.C.’s first female mayor on Muriel Bowser, the next woman to win the office," November 6, 2014
  3. Next City, "How Transportation Is Shaping Three 2014 Mayoral Races," September 5, 2014
  4. Washington Post, "D.C. wants input on privatized streetcar system," June 26, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Washington Post, "With lengthy platform, David Catania says he is the mayoral candidate of substance," September 14, 2014
  6. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Housing: Before, During, And After The Great Recession September 2014.
  7. Muriel for Mayor, "Housing," accessed on September 17, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Washington Post, "D.C. mayor’s race seen as pivoting on candidate most trusted on school reform," September 1, 2014
  9. Washington Post, "D.C. school proposals trigger debate over future of neighborhood schools," April 12, 2014
  10. Washington Post, "D.C. Mayor Gray adopts new school boundary recommendations," August 21, 2014
  11. Washington Post, "Bowser: Slow down D.C. school boundary revamp — and vote! Nov. 4 no ‘walk-away’ win," May 23, 2014
  12. Washington Post, "D.C. school boundary proposal spurs citywide debate about quality," June 21, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Vox, "The small and scrappy campaign that could legalize marijuana in Washington, DC," October 7, 2014
  14. Washington Post, "Poll: D.C. voters poised to legalize pot, elevating national debate over marijuana," September 18, 2014