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Voters oust Brazil, Allen, Chavous
Ward 8 Democrats want Barry back on D.C. City Council
(Published September 20, 2004)
Voters who cast ballots in the Sept. 14 D.C. Democratic Primary Election sent a decisive message to three incumbent members of the city council: It’s time to go.
Newcomers Kwame R. Brown and Vincent C. Gray, both residents of Hillcrest in Ward 7, soundly defeated incumbent At-Large Councilman Harold Brazil and Ward 7 Councilman Kevin P. Chavous, respectively.
Brown won the three-way race for the Democratic nomination with 54.2 percent of the vote to Brazil’s 32.3 percent and challenger Sam Brooks’ 13.1 percent.
Adding insult to injury, Brazil was beaten in all eight city wards. Brown won in all wards except Ward 2, where Brooks edged out Brown by garnering 36 percent of the vote to Brown’s 35.3 percent.
In Ward 7, Gray defeated Chavous in a crowded field of six candidates by receiving 50.2 percent of the vote. Chavous was the choice of only 33.9 percent of voters who cast ballots. The only other Democratic candidate to break double digits in the Ward 7 vote tally was Mia Hairston-Hamilton, who chose to enter the race after her son, former school board member Terry Hairston, was found murdered shortly after he picked up petitions to seek the council seat.
While voters opted for new faces in the at-large and Ward 7 races, they overwhelmingly chose a familiar one as the Democratic nominee for the Ward 8 council seat in former mayor Marion Barry. Barry received 57.2 percent of the vote to incumbent Sandy Allen’s 25 percent in a seven-person contest.
Notably, Barry’s vote total — amassing 4,728 votes in a ward that historically has a low voter turnout — was larger than the 3,458 ballots cast for incumbent Councilman Chavous in Ward 7.
In other Democratic races, incumbent U.S. "Shadow" Rep. Ray Browne defeated two-time challenger Susana Baranano with 69.7 percent of the vote to Baranano’s 28.9 percent. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans and Ward 4 Councilman Adrian Fenty all received a free pass, running unopposed for re-election.
On the Republican side, incumbent At-Large Council-woman Carol Schwartz handily defeated challengers Robert Pittman and Don Folden Sr. Schwartz received 82.7 percent of the vote to Pittman’s 11.2 percent and Folden’s 3.3 percent.
Several other Republican candidates and Statehood Green candidates received their respective parties’ nominations without opposition.
The winners of the Sept. 14 primaries will face each other, as well as some independent challengers, in the Nov. 2 general election. Voters in school board District 1 (Wards 1 and 2) and District 2 (Wards 3 and 4) also will elect members to the D.C. Board of Education in November. Incumbents Julie Mikuta and Dwight Singleton both face challenges in the non-partisan races.