Image by Jacques Arsenault used with permission.

Tuesday, November 6 is election day, and if you’re like us you’ve been hitting refresh on 538 and RealClearPolitics every few minutes to check in on the latest for national races. However, the local elections in our region are some of the biggest opportunities we have to make the Washington region even greater. These local decision makers directly affect our neighborhoods and cities.

We’ve covered a lot of local races in the region this year, so take a moment in between refreshes to read up on the top races in our area and peruse GGWash’s recommendations.

Get hyperlocal in DC: know your Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner race

This year we’re really excited to show you our interactive ANC Voter Guide, which searches for your hyper-local Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner candidates using your address, displays their answers side-by-side, and explains our endorsement when we have one.

These ANC races are often the hardest to find information for and rarely get covered in a substantive way. Take a look, learn about your DC neighborhood controversies and where candidates stand on them, and share with friends and neighbors!

GGWash 2018 ANC Voter Guide

Key local race in DC: Elissa Silverman vs. Dionne Reeder

Now that the primaries are over, the top two local offices (Mayor and DC Council Chairman) are pretty much decided. However, on Tuesday the marquee race to watch is for At-Large DC Council, where incumbent Elissa Silverman is facing a challenge from Dionne Reeder.

There’s a lot of backstory here worth looking into, but this race hinges on two big issues: Paid Family Leave legislation Silverman helped to shepherd through in the last few years, and Initiative 77, the voter initiative to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers that the DC Council recently overrode. On urbanist issues, we think Silverman is clearly the best choice, and encourage you to give her your vote.

Below are our 2018 primary endorsements and rationale for other DC candidates on the ballot on November 6, which we expect not to be quite as competitive as the Silverman-Reeder race:

Key local race in Maryland: Nancy Floreen vs. Marc Elrich

The County Executive race in Montgomery County has been a hard call, and many urbanists are truly split on this one. However, we are endorsing Nancy Floreen. Despite our concerns about Floreen’s transportation positions, we really disagree with the way Marc Elrich thinks about land use policy.

Another important race for all Marylanders, of course, is the governor’s race. We endorsed Rushern Baker in the primary, who lost to Democratic candidate Ben Jealous. Let’s be clear: incumbent Larry Hogan is not good on urbanist policies. A prime example: Hogan wants to spend $9 billion on major highway expansions, but cut the Baltimore Red Line.

Maryland voters — there are a lot of pivotal elections going on this year in your state, so make sure to read up and vote! Here are our analyses for the other local races on your ballots:

Governor: Ben Jealous

Montgomery County:

Prince George’s County:

Key local race in Virginia: Matt de Ferranti vs. John Vihstadt

Virginians, we know you’re really focusing on the national level right now, and you should. Some of your local races are pretty much decided now that primaries are over, but for those who live in Arlington an important race to watch is Matt de Ferranti taking on incumbent John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board.

We really like Ferranti’s urbanist chops, and Vihstadt has rarely led on important land use or transportation issues in the past, instead choosing to play the role of skeptic and interrogator on many proposals before eventually acquiescing with his vote. We hope Arlington voters give Ferranti a shot this year.

Below are our other choices for local races from our 2018 primary endorsements:



Make a plan about where to vote

Not sure where your polling place is? Plug your home address into the tool below. You can also use Google’s voting tool, which will tell you your polling place, your voting and ID requirements, and a pretty good roundup of what will be on your ballot.