The Post’s endorsements for D.C. elections
Starting the first week in October, ballots for the Nov. 3 general election will be mailed to all registered voters in D.C. The presidential election has dominated attention, but the ballots will also include contests for important local offices. Front and center for the District are epic challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. D.C. has dramatically spent down its reserves to deal with the crisis, and the loss of tax dollars has blown a hole in the budget. Officials will confront how to restart the economy, maintain services and provide help to those in need while protecting the fiscal stability that has been so vital to the city’s resurgence.
Two at-large seats on the D.C. Council — one being vacated by David Grosso (I) and one held by Robert C. White Jr. (D), who is seeking a second term — are on the ballot, with 24 candidates vying to finish first or second. We urge voters to give Christina Henderson (I) their first vote. She has rich experience in government — in D.C. public schools working on efforts to improve teacher effectiveness, as deputy chief of staff for Mr. Grosso and as legislative assistant for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) — and is hailed by business leaders and progressive advocates alike. She follows the data and listens to all sides. That thoughtful approach is badly needed on a council that increasingly seems more interested in advancing an ideology than coming up with effective — and affordable — ways to serve the needs of D.C. residents. We also endorse Marcus Goodwin, who impressed us two years ago when he first ran for the council. A real estate developer who started his career working for the D.C. Council and in the mayor’s office, Mr. Goodwin understands government but would also bring a needed business perspective to the council on issues such as workforce development, affordable housing and the needs of small businesses. He is thoughtful about racial inequalities in law enforcement and would be a constructive voice in the debate over reshaping police and public safety. There are other strong candidates — notably Monica Palacio, former head of the city’s Office of Human Rights — but Ms. Henderson and Mr. Goodwin stand out. We endorse them over the incumbent because, while we admire Mr. White’s advocacy for returning citizens, his stances on education would undermine the important reforms that have occurred under mayoral control.
Also on the ballot are council seats in Wards 2, 4, 7 and 8. In Ward 7, incumbent Vincent C. Gray (D) faces no opposition. Janeese Lewis George (D) in Ward 4 and Ward 8 incumbent Trayon White Sr. (D) face token opposition. In Ward 2, there are more serious efforts, including a challenge from a popular advisory neighborhood commissioner, to unseat Brooke Pinto, who won the Democratic primary for Ward 2 and is now in office after winning the special election to fill the rest of the term that resulted from former council member Jack Evans’s resignation. We reaffirm our endorsement in the Democratic primary of Ms. Pinto and have been impressed with how she has met the challenge of taking office during complicated budget deliberations.
For the State Board of Education, we endorse Jacque Patterson for the at-large seat; Allister Chang in Ward 2; incumbent Karen Williams in Ward 7 and LaJoy Johnson-Law in Ward 8. Last but not least, we endorse Eleanor Holmes Norton, running for her 16th term as D.C. delegate.
Published on: September 26, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EDT