Photo by Franklin Garcia, used with permission
In the special election held to replace disgraced former council member Harry Thomas Jr., the field was wide and deep with suitors for the position. Five strong candidates and seven additional candidates spent the last three months wooing voters from Bloomingdale to North Michigan Park to Fort Lincoln and Trinidad in hopes of garnering the wide open council. In the end it was Stronghold’s Kenyan McDuffie that captured the most votes – by a large margin – and will become Ward 5’s new voice on the Council of the District of Columbia at the end of the month when the election is certified.
McDuffie, 36, had worked previously for the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety’s office after an unsuccessful 2010 bid. McDuffie’s biography also includes stints working for the Civil Rights Division at Department of Justice, as well as at the Prince George’s County Prosecutor’s office, and as a letter carrier with the US Postal Service.
The margin of victory was wide – enough for McDuffie to claim a mandate – capturing more than 44% of the vote. Turnout, while fairly low at 15%, was significantly better than many analysts had predicted. McDuffie’s final total of over 4,000 votes was double his nearest competitor – Fort Lincoln’s Delano Hunter. North Michigan Park’s Frank Wilds finished in 3rd place with 15% of the vote.
McDuffie’s victory broke out to outright wins in the western part of the ward – Bloomingdale and Eckington – as well as the central four precincts in Brookland and Michigan Park, and didn’t come in lower than 2nd in any of the precincts he didn’t take. McDuffie made the rounds of the news outlets today, including Kojo Nnamdi, Fox 5, Bruce DePuyt and others. The election results will be certified by May 30th, and McDuffie would like be sworn in just after the budget passes the council.