Foggy Bottom ANC Commissioner Patrick Kennedy officially conceded the Democratic primary election in the Ward 2 council election on June 6 following the release of new vote counts that saw him fall further behind in the race. While official results have yet to be released, Kennedy’s concession leaves current District Assistant Attorney General for Policy and Legislative Affairs Brooke Pinto (LAW ‘17) as the presumptive Democratic nominee in the council race.
Former Obama staffer Jordan Grossman also conceded the race on June 5 after remaining in third place and seeing his vote share decrease from Tuesday. In addition to conceding the June 2 primary, both Kennedy and Grossman also withdrew from the June 16 special election to determine who will serve the remainder of the current term for the open seat. No other candidate in the Democratic primary was able to break out of the single digits.
Pinto is now also poised to win the June 16 special election for the council seat and will likely serve the remainder of disgraced former councilmember Jack Evans’s term. While Pinto faces Republican Katherine Venice in November, no Republican has prevailed in a DC council race since 2004.
In the crowded eight-person race, Pinto’s candidacy was boosted by endorsements from District Attorney General Karl Racine as well as national figures such as Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA).
Following the election, Pinto emphasized the importance and urgency of addressing the current public health crisis and combating racism within the District. “We must now unite and begin the hard work of recovering from COVID-19 and healing the wounds of division caused by systemic racism and injustice,” she wrote in a statement earlier this week.
The June 2 primary election marks the highest turnout in Ward 2 in recent years with over 9,000 votes counted. However, many candidates and officials expressed dissatisfaction about the Board of Elections’s lack of preparation in holding a primary election during a city-wide curfew in response to ongoing protests and reduced physical polling locations during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press release containing his concession, Grossman said, “Many voters were never able to make their voice heard in the Ward 2 Democratic primary,” and blamed this on “the failure of the Board of Elections to implement a fully functional vote-by-mail program.” Similarly, in his concession, Kennedy wrote, “Every voter, regardless of who they voted for, deserves better.”
Pinto will face off against Venice in the general election on Nov. 3.
This post has been updated to reflect that Katherine Venice dropped out of the special election.