Washington, D.C. municipal elections, 2014

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Washington, D.C.

Note: Cities listed in this box are those among the 100 largest in the United States that are holding elections in 2014.
The city of Washington, D.C. will hold 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 need to turn in petitions 90 days prior to the November 4 election, which was August 6, 2014.

Mayor

Because of the city's size and historical and political significance, Washington, D.C.'s mayoral elections are naturally high-profile events. At the same time, they can also be complicated and difficult for voters to navigate. The following discussion highlights and breaks down what Ballotpedia has found to be this election cycle's key issues in Washington, D.C.

Public transportation

As with previous D.C. mayoral elections, public transportation is a major issue in 2014. The focus has largely been on the city's 36-mile long streetcar project, which can be seen on the map below.[2] 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 have been skeptical of the program's efficacy and high cost. D.C.'s 2014 mayoral candidates have spoken out both in favor and against streetcars.[3] David Catania (I), for example, argued for expanding the program. The Washington Post quoted him as saying, "the [streetcar] system must be sufficiently expansive in order to serve as anything more than a novelty or tourist attraction.[4] Muriel Bowser (D), on the other hand, has pushed for budget cuts to the project and expressed concern over its lack of tangible results, saying, "time and time again we've put money into the streetcars and we have yet to see results."[5]

The conversation about public transportation in the mayoral race has also touched upon expanding bike lanes, revising bus lines and taking advantage of new urban transportation options such as Uber and Lyft.[4]

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

Cost of living

Equally important in 2014 is the issue of cost of living. According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, D.C. ranks first in the nation in terms of basic living expenses, outpacing other high-price urban areas such as San Francisco, New York City and San Diego.[6] 2014's mayoral candidates have not shied away from the issue. Bowser outlined a plan that would dedicate $100 million per year to the construction of affordable housing in the city and would promote training programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to help D.C. citizens find high-paying jobs.[7] Her plan can be read in full here. Catania suggested that the city turn to tax-credit and tax-abatement incentive programs to encourage developers to build low-income housing units.[4] His plan can be read in full here.

School reform

Yet as important as public transportation and cost of living are to D.C. citizens, school reform has emerged as arguably the most dominant issue in the 2014 mayoral race.[8]

Washington D.C.'s new elementary school boundaries

School reform has a long history in D.C., and even though the city's education system has seen dramatic improvements over the past ten years in terms of student performance, teacher quality and test scores, difficult problems still remain.[8] Chief among them is the uneven quality of D.C. schools. While some neighborhood schools have experienced the improvements described above, many have not. The result is that schools with higher performance records, such as those in the northwestern part of the city, have become highly competitive and, in some cases, over-enrolled. Conversely, lower performance schools, such as those east of the Anacostia River, have become underused (see the map right). In the opinion of many D.C. citizens, the uneven quality of local schools reflects 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 to redraw school boundaries that would assign students to specific neighborhood schools throughout the city. The plan also provides 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 have varied.

Some have claimed that the new boundaries will prohibit students in lower-income areas from having access to the same quality of education available in higher-income areas. Others, however, have pointed out that the new boundaries will force neighborhoods and the city to come face-to-face with the unevenness of D.C. schools. The 2014 mayoral candidates have been particularly vocal about the plan. Bowser claimed that, if elected, she would immediately undo the plan.[11] Catania 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]

Candidate list

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

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Muriel Bowser
Green Party Faith
Libertarian Party Bruce Majors
Independent David Catania
Independent Ben Foshager
Independent Carol Schwartz

City council

Candidate list

Chairman

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:
Republican PartyApril 1 Republican primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Green PartyApril 1 D.C. Statehood Green Party primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Libertarian PartyApril 1 Libertarian Party primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Phil Mendelson
Libertarian Party Kyle Walker

At-Large

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

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Anita Bonds
Republican Party Marc Morgan
Green Party Eugene Puryear
Libertarian Party Frederick Steiner

Ward 1

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:
Republican PartyApril 1 Republican primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Green PartyApril 1 D.C. Statehood Green Party primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Libertarian PartyApril 1 Libertarian Party primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Brianne Nadeau

Ward 3

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:
  • Mary Cheh Approveda - Incumbent Cheh was first elected to the council in 2006.
Republican PartyApril 1 Republican primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Green PartyApril 1 D.C. Statehood Green Party primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Libertarian PartyApril 1 Libertarian Party primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Mary Cheh
Libertarian Party Ryan Sabot

Ward 5

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:
Republican PartyApril 1 Republican primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Green PartyApril 1 D.C. Statehood Green Party primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Libertarian PartyApril 1 Libertarian Party primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Kenyan McDuffie
Libertarian Party Preston Cornish

Ward 6

Note: Incumbent Tommy Wells is not running for re-election.

Democratic PartyApril 1 Democratic primary candidates:
Republican PartyApril 1 Republican primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Green PartyApril 1 D.C. Statehood Green Party primary candidates:
  • No candidates filed.
Libertarian PartyApril 1 Libertarian Party primary candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Charles Allen
Libertarian Party Pranav Badhwar

Recent news

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See also

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