Every corrupt politician knows the best time to do something unethical is when voters are distracted. After 9:00 p.m. last night, eight days before the election, as a hurricane approaches, DSC At-Large Member James Bubar announced that Anita Bonds would not be seeking re-election as party chair and had endorsed him as her successor. Bonds will instead run for Vice Chair so she can keep her coveted seat at the Democratic National Convention.
Until last night, Bubar was not considered a contender. The vast majority of DSC members expected to head to the first post-primary meeting next Thursday to cast their vote for either Anita Bonds, Stanley Mayes, or Charles Wilson. This even surprised those who had run on Bubar’s slate in the primary.
Committeeman David Donaldson made a rare public statement of dismay at the move: “Unfortunately, this had all the components of a Trump campaign, not the Slate I joined in January…I will not Vote for the Chair and Vice Chair nominees on this Slate…you lost my vote and many others by this sham.”
Before last night’s bait and switch, the process was already in disarray. The leadership election was originally set for September 6th, before being postponed to September 20th without explanation. As Democrats nationwide are dedicating resources to help flip Congress in November, the DC Democrats haven’t met in nearly six months.
Meanwhile, there has been no formal announcement of the election, no list of candidates, and no statement on voter eligibility or process. We are heading into a leadership election blindfolded except for the one-on-one outreach admirably conducted by Chair candidate Charles Wilson (Ward 8) and Vice Chair candidate Linda Gray (Ward 4) and messages sent to committee members by Chair candidate Stanley Mayes (Ward 1).
DC Democrats deserve a transparent leadership race, not a backroom coronation.
There is good news, however. Many DSC members are actively advocating for a party that raises voter turnout and holds elected officials accountable to the party’s values:
- I drafted this piece for The DC Line, asking Mayor Bowser to stop performing resistance to Trump and start enacting it using the powers of her office.
- In the same publication, Ward 7 Committeeman Dexter Williams offered a broad outline of how he believes the State Committee can play a productive role in District politics.
- Ward 3 Committeemembers Elizabeth Mitchell, Shelley Tompkin, Hugh Allen, and Beau Finley are co-organizing fundraisers for candidates in flippable Congressional districts.
- Ward 1 Committeeman Tony Donaldson announced specific plans to engage his neighbors in the party’s work.
- With the Ward 4 Special Election for State Board of Education underway, Charles Wilson and I teamed up on an op-ed calling for the DC Board of Elections to test mail-in voting as one way to avoid a disastrously low turnout.
We are working to energize the party and make it matter in the lives of DC voters. We hope you’ll join us on September 20th to elect party leadership that does the same.