Pictured: Independent At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman
The Ward 4 Democrats are teaming up with the Chevy Case Citizens Association and ANC 3G/4G to host a forum on October 16 for the At-Large Council races. If their partnership for the At-Large Primary Candidates Forum earlier this year is any indication, it will be a well-run, well-attended forum. Come on out!
In case you’re new to this, DC’s Council has an interesting structure mandated by the Home Rule Act. In addition to each of the eight Councilmembers elected to represent a specific Ward, there are five Councilmembers elected “at-large,” representing the entire District. One of those five is the Chairman of the Council, directly elected by voters citywide. The other four are referred to as At-Large Councilmembers.
Of the five members elected at-large, no more than three are allowed to be “affiliated with the same political party.” This creates some confusion each election cycle. While news coverage has focused on Silverman versus Reeder as the two most viable contenders, there technically is no one-on-one showdown in November, 2018. DC voters will be able to cast two votes for At-Large Councilmember. They may vote for Silverman and Bonds, or for Schwartzman and Lewis, or any other combination of candidates.
As the winner of the June Democratic primary election, Anita Bonds will be the only Democratic candidate on the ballot. She will likely be carried in by the overwhelmingly Democratic electorate. That means the other five candidates are effectively vying for the second, non-Democratic At-Large Seat, currently held by Silverman.
A poll released by Silverman’s campaign in September showed 37% of voters picking Bonds as their first choice and 24% picking Silverman. In third place? “Not sure” with 23%.