Minnesota Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) endorsed Jordan Grossman for Ward 2 Councilmember on May 12 in the upcoming June 2 Democratic primary election. Grossman, a former Klobuchar staffer and Obama administration official, is running to represent the neighborhoods of Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and downtown D.C. in the city council.
Grossman is joined in the race by Jack Evans, a longtime member of the Council, who resigned from the seat in January following multiple ethics violation allegations and a unanimous vote of expulsion from the D.C. Council. His initial decision to enter the race drew opposition from community leaders and elected officials.
In response to Evans’ announcement that he would enter the race, the D.C. Council issued a rare joint statement in January on behalf of all 12 current members. “His decision to run for Ward 2 Councilmember again, which we do not and cannot support, shows a willful and arrogant disregard for ethics and is not in the best interests of the District,” wrote Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D).
Klobuchar is the latest high-profile figure to weigh in on the local election. In April, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) threw his support behind Brooke Pinto (LAW ‘17) in the Ward 2 Democratic primary. Pinto is the current District Assistant Attorney General for Policy and Legislative Affairs as well as Blumenthal’s former staffer. Pinto has also received the endorsement of Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA).
Pinto emphasized the importance of relationships between local and federal officials as the District seeks Congressional representation and continues the fight against the coronavirus.
“These partnerships will be invaluable in our fight for D.C. Statehood. More importantly, they’ll help us secure funding for our relief & resiliency plans to recover from COVID-19,” Pinto wrote over Twitter.
A selection of current Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Commissioners are also running for the seat, including 2E Commissioner Kishan Putta, ANC 2F Commissioner John Fanning, and Foggy Bottom ANC Commissioner Patrick Kennedy. They are joined in the primary by Microsoft employee Daniel Hernandez, and business executive Yilin (Ellen) Zhang. The Democratic nominee will face the winner of the Republican primary, where Katherine Venice is running unopposed, in the November general election.
In addition to the June 2 primary, voters will head to the polls for a June 16 special election to fill the Ward 2 council seat until the end of the current term in January 2021. The seat has been vacant since Evans’ resignation.
With the exception of Hernandez and Evans, who pulled out of the race in March after pushback, all candidates running in the Democratic primary and Venice are also on the ballot for the special election.
D.C. residents will be able to vote in-person or by mail. While the D.C. government is strongly urging eligible voters to vote by mail to reduce the spread of the coronavirus at polling locations, early in-person voting will be available starting on May 22.
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