Image by NASA APPEL / Erin Bonilla licensed under Creative Commons.

Mayor Bowser backs Dionne Reeder against Elissa Silverman, the DC Council repeals Initiative 77, Ben Jealous offers his transportation vision for Maryland, candidates across the region meet for debates, and more in this week's election links roundup.

Bowser backs Reeder
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has endorsed Dionne Reeder in an effort to unseat popular incumbent Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) as the non-Democratic At-Large DC Councilmember. Bowser criticized Silverman for not being “collaborative” and experimenting on DC with policies pushed by national interest groups. More specifically, Bowser disagrees with Silverman’s support for Initiative 77 and paid family leave. Bowser previously supported S. Kathryn Allen, who was disqualified from the November ballot due to insufficient petition signatures. (Martin Austermuhle / WAMU)

At-large and in charge
Reeder and Silverman sparred over paid family leave at a recent candidates’ forum. Reeder believes that tax dollars raised and spent on the program would be better spent on affordable housing, and worries that the law will drive small businesses like hers out of the city or out of business altogether (she owns a restaurant in Ward 8). Silverman defended the law as an important social safety net that is provided in most developed nations. The law will levy a 0.62% payroll tax on employees to fund paid time off for new parents, sick employees, or employees need to care for ill relatives. (Fenit Nirappil / Post)

DC Council repeals Initiative 77
The DC Council repealed Initiative 77, the ballot measure that would have gradually raised the tipped minimum wage and was supported by 56% of DC voters in June. The Council also declined to adopt a compromise drafted by Elissa Silverman that would have raised the wage only for the city’s lowest-paid tipped workers, such as parking attendants and bellhops. Silverman exhorted her colleagues to “look [the voters] in the eye and tell them that their vote doesn’t matter and they don’t deserve a higher wage.” Councilmembers Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, Mary Cheh, and Charles Allen also voted for the compromise and to respect the decision that DC voters made in June. (Ally Schweitzer / WAMU)

Elrich: Invest in public transit, not new roads
Montgomery County Executive candidates Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, and Robin Ficker met in Rockville to discuss their visions for transportation and economic development in the county. Floreen asked Elrich why he opposed constructing new roads and he responded that due to global warming and congestion, we need less space for cars and should invest in bus rapid transit instead. Elrich also defended his anti-development record, claiming that it was rare that he and Floreen voted differently on development issues. (Dan Schere / Bethesda Beat)

The Post endorses Floreen
The Washington Post endorsed Nancy Floreen for Montgomery County Executive, praising her for her experience, fiscal discipline, and advocacy for affordable housing. Marc Elrich, however, is characterized as “the bane of the business community” who “[wastes] few chances to vilify and obstruct projects large and small…” That said, the Post does praise Elrich’s vision for bus rapid transit. (Editorial Board / Post)

Jealous on transportation
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous discussed the need for a “twenty-first century transportation plan” for Maryland and criticized Hogan’s plans to spend $9 billion on highway expansions. Jealous was light on details for his own plan, though he did suggest that Maryland should invest in and expand MARC and invest more heavily in everyday public transportation needs. “We don’t need trains that are $54 round trip from Baltimore to DC, and we don’t need highways that are $45 one way. We don’t need rapid transit for the rich. WE need public transit for the public.” Marc Elrich joined Jealous at the event and spoke about the absurdity of Hogan’s plans to build more highway capacity. (Dan Schere / Bethesda Beat)

Jealous and Hogan meet for their one and only debate
Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan debated Democratic challenger Ben Jealous this past week. Jealous characterized Maryland as an underperforming state and Hogan as a underwhelming leader. Hogan painted Jealous as an outsider with impractical ideas that won’t fly in Maryland. Jealous highlighted Hogan’s failed transportation policies, such as cutting the Baltimore redline. Hogan touted his support for the Purple Line and securing dedicated funding for metro. (Martin Austermuhle / WAMU)

Comstock and Wexton debate taxes, immigration, and transit
Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton debated a number of issues including taxes, tariffs, immigration, and public transportation. Comstock highlighted her desire to expand Republican tax cuts, enable a crackdown on immigrants suspected of gang activity, and her ability to direct federal resources to her constituents. Wexton criticized the tax cuts as irresponsible, worried that Comstock’s plans to target MS-13 would enable discrimination and constitutional violations, and criticized her for being complicit in the Trump administration’s family separation policy. Wexton also went after Comstock for failing to properly support Metro, both in her time as a Virginia State Senator and as a house member. While Wexton is still ahead, polls are tightening as election day nears. (Jenna Portnoy / Post)