Low Voter Turnout Can Cause Upset in At-Large Council Race

February 25, 2011  |  

(Afro) — A crowded field of candidates and uncertain voter turnout promises to make the April 26 election of a new D.C. City Council member an exciting and boisterous process, some political observers say.  “When you have special elections it’s pretty much a free-for-all,” said former councilman Vincent Orange.

Orange was one of 11 candidates that met the Feb. 16 deadline to submit 3,000 signatures indicating their intent to run for the at-large Council seat vacated by now-Chairman Kwame Brown. But one, Calvin H. Gurley, has already been disqualified in the challenge process, which ends Feb. 28. The Board of Elections and Ethics has until March 15 to complete its signature validation process.

Mark Plotkin, WTOP’s political analyst and commentator, said so far the contest seems a two-man race between former school board member Sekou Biddle, whom the D.C. Democratic State Committee selected to temporarily fill the vacant seat last month, and Orange, a Democratic heavyweight in the city.

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