DC voters are pretty happy with their incumbents, based on the results of Tuesday's primary. Mayor Muriel Bowser won re-nomination with 80% of the vote; Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, 76%; Kenyan McDuffie (Ward 5), 69%; and Charles Allen (Ward 6), 68%.
In the marquee race for DC Council chairman, Phil Mendelson beat challenger Ed Lazere, 62%-37%. Sitting at-large councilmember Anita Bonds held off Jeremiah Lowery and Marcus Goodwin, taking 52% of the vote compared to 23.8% for Lowery and 23.4% for Goodwin. First-term Ward 1 councilmember Brianne Nadeau got support from 48% of voters against three challengers, with Kent Boese faring best, but far behind, at 25%.
Voters did call for change in the minimum wage for tipped workers. By a 55-45% margin, voters approved Initiative 77. This would remove the separate “tipped minimum wage” where restaurant workers can be paid a lower minimum wage ($3.33 an hour, today) as long as their tips boost them to at least the regular minimum wage (now $12.50, rising to $15 in the future). Under the measure, all workers will have to be paid at least the minimum wage directly by 2025.
Since ballot initiatives do not supersede the DC Council's authority, the council has the choice of leaving the law as passed, overturning it entirely, or working out some kind of different policy or compromise. A number of political commentators are expecting it to take the third path and some voters, like Shane Farthing, even specifically voted with that in mind.
The primary saw low turnout of only 17.6% of registered voters. Many political observers expected incumbents and I-77 to win, and except I-77, so did people on Patrick Kennedy's pre-election Twitter polls. Weigh in in the comments, but if you've been following the DC election with great interest, be sure to tune in next Tuesday for the much less predictable, and extremely consequential, Maryland election!
Now, on to other election news from around the region:
Where did all the money come from, anyway?
A reporter working with the Sunlight Foundation and Open Cities teamed up to aggregate and analyze all donor data for the all 2018 candidates in DC. It appears that the effort took a tremendous amount of work, but resulted in a fascinating and visually pleasing read. (Alex Dodds / Medium)
Mendelson says DC isn't so far left
In his victory speech, Mendelson said the results prove “the city is not as far to the left as these ultra liberal progressives think, and his victory “is a vindication for pragmatic progressivism.” (Cuneyt Dil / Twitter)
Where I-77 did well
Here's where the votes came from on Initiative 77. Matthew Isbell notes that most “No” votes came from heavily white areas of DC, such as west of Rock Creek Park and inner Capitol Hill, while more African-American areas had higher vote totals in favor of the measure. Since race and income are so heavily correlated in DC, it'd be useful to see an analysis of which factor was stronger here.
Washington DC passed a referendum mandating that tipped employees receive the full minimum wage (rather than relying on tips). The measure passed easily in African-American precincts while failed in the more high-end suburbs in the east. #DCision18 #DCprimary #Initiative77 pic.twitter.com/bk8XemEfND
— Matthew Isbell (@mcimaps) June 20, 2018
New battle lines in VA-10
Democrats projected unity this week in support of GGWash-endorsed Jennifer Wexton, the winner in the VA-10 primary, as all five of her Democratic competitors rallied behind her and emphasized the importance of turning the district blue this fall. While Trump is deeply unpopular in the district, Barbara Comstock was able to win by nearly 6 points while Hillary Clinton won the district by 10. (Patrick Madden / WAMU)
Sun endorses Jealous
The Baltimore Sun editorial board believes that, among the “broad and deep” Democratic gubernatorial primary field, Ben Jealous offers the clearest contrast to Larry Hogan and is therefore the best choice. (Baltimore Sun)
Some enthusiasm in Maryland
While overall turnout was low in DC for the primaries, Montgomery County is showing indications of a early voter boom. Nearly 75% more voters voted on the first day of early voting in 2018 compared to 2014. Watchers credit the crowded and competitive field. (Bethany Rodgers / Bethesda Beat)
Final push in Montgomery County
Speaking of interesting, important, and competitive races, the candidates for Montgomery County Executive are making their final pitch ahead of the June 26 primary. GGWash-endorsed George Leventhal makes the case for experienced, political insiders and has shown strong support for the Purple Line over the years. Rose Krasnow highlights her executive experience and her experience serving communities outside of the beltway.
Bill Frick believes he has the “just right” perspective as a pro-business outsider candidate with legislative experience. David Blair believes Montgomery County needs an entrepreneur at the helm and would make the county’s Ride On bus network free. Roger Berliner touts his experience and business focus. Marc Elrich promises to make developers pay more to pay for strengthening the social safety net. (Post)