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During the results announcement of the Ward 7 Democrats election on Saturday, one ballot read out loud contained a vote for just one candidate: Yvette Alexander.
The room cracked up. “I put my hand to God it was not me!” Alexander said.
But the day did belong to the former Ward 7 councilmember, who won the vice chair seat, and her allies. The slate she was a part of completed a clean sweep, with her pal Derek Ford becoming chair and three other aligned candidates securing victories of their own.
The race featured Alexander and allies challenging the incumbent slate, led by incumbent Ward 7 Dems Chair Jimmie Williamsand endorsed by Ward 7 Councilmember Vince Gray, who beat Alexander in 2016 to take back his council seat.
Alexander beat Gray’s council spokeswoman,Takiyah “T.N.” Tate, by 16 votes to become first vice chair. (The results are yet to be officially certified.)
Ford beat Williams 204 to 179 votes.Lee Wilson successfully challenged Dexter “D.L.” Humphrey to become second vice chair, and Tyrell Holcomb beat Travis Swanson in the race for corresponding secretary. See the full results below.
Voting, which took place between 10 a.m. and noon at the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, brought out a who’s who of Ward 7 politicos. That included Gray, former council chairKwame Brown, new Ward 7 resident and Green Team booster Josh Lopez, and Kevin B. Chavous, who once challenged Alexander for the Ward 7 council seat.
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After voting concluded, each of the 390 ballots were read out loud and tallied on posters by Democratic party volunteers, who were treated to Popeyes chicken and biscuits for their work. Moments after his win, Ford hailed the slate’s “group effort.” He said he wants to work with DC Young Democrats to increase turnout in elections.
He also said he plans to bring back the Lorraine Whitlock Scholarship Dinner before the 2020 Democratic primary. The event, a popular fundraiser that awarded small scholarships to high school seniors, hasn’t been held since 2015 due to the group’s depleted funds.
“One of the highlights of the Lorraine Whitlock Dinner is the scholarship, and [honors] for Ward 7 male and Ward 7 female,” Ford said.
The only member of Williams’ slate to win was Latisha Atkins, who ran unopposed.
For his part, Williams says “I’m not going to stop working with these guys.”
Derek Ford: 204 votes
Jimmie Williams: 179
First vice chair
Yvette Alexander: 203
Takiyah “T.N.” Tate: 187
Second vice chair
Lee Wilson: 204
Dexter “D.L.” Humphrey: 175
Tyrell Holcomb: 217
Travis Swanson: 160
Sergeant at arms
Sirraya Grant: 199
Keith R. Towery: 172
Latisha Atkins: 319
Shawntell Nesmith: 284