Josh Lopez can’t help himself.
The former appointee of Mayor Muriel Bowser and current unbridled antagonizer has injected himself into the at-large Council race once again.
In text messages between Lopez and Councilmember Trayon White, first reported by The Washington Post, Lopez pushes White to support at-large candidate Dionne Reeder, who is challenging Councilmember Elissa Silverman in a heated race for the second at-large seat on the Council.
The Post did not publish the contents of the text exchange, and instead described Lopez using an “invective to question White’s manhood.”
Invective indeed. A screenshot of the texts provided to the City Paper reads as follows:
Lopez: Slim you going to tell your constituents to vote or nah
White: Fuck is you talking about
Lopez: Are you going to tell your folks to vote or keep acting like a bitch and stay silent
White: Trayon White ain’t never been no bitch … where you going to be at 1:30 p?
Jauhar Abraham, a friend of White and co-founder of the defunct anti-violence group Peaceoholics, talked about the text exchange on videos posted to Facebook. In the video, Abraham calls Lopez a “clown” and a “punk.”
“I don’t know what he’s thinking but when you start referring to men as bitches and tell these people to go out here and do this, if that’s how you feel then we’ve got to talk about that when I see you,” Abraham says on the video. “I’m not going to allow nobody who is with Dionne or nobody else to disrespect my councilmember.”
Abraham goes on to say: “Josh Lopez, don’t call nobody’s phone around here. If you wanna say something to somebody and especially if you wanna use derogatory language … pull up on MLK [Avenue] and use the word bitch when you’re referring to one of us. I beg you to do that.”
Neither Lopez, nor White, responded to requests for comment. We’ll update this post if we hear back.
On Sunday afternoon, Bowser’s campaign released an official response: “No one approves of name calling.”
Reeder, who is endorsed by Bowser and owns a restaurant in Ward 8, tells City Paper via text that she never asked anyone to talk to Trayon White and that she is fine with White’s decision to stay neutral in the at-large race.
“I love CM White, we are friends, and I know and understand his position,” Reeder writes. “I have never asked anyone to talk to him on my behalf. I have known him for over 10 years.”
Lopez, for his part, was one of two Bowser appointees to the D.C. Housing Authority (where he lasted three months before resigning). He has served as a ranking campaign official for her and former-Mayor Adrian Fenty, and ran a failed campaign for an at-large D.C. Council seat in 2011. He’s been an outspoken supporter of Reeder.
Last April, Lopez organized a “unity rally” outside the Wilson Building to support Trayon White. The rally came on the heels of the councilmember’s controversial comments peddling an anti-Semitic conspiracy that the Rothschild banking family controls the weather for financial gain. White has apologized for the comments and taken earnest steps to make amends.
During the rally, however, Lopez held the megaphone while Nation of Islam representative Abdul Khadir Muhammad called Councilmember Silverman a “fake Jew” and later reportedly referred to Jews at “termites.”
Lopez has been a loyal Bowser supporter going back to her first run for Council in 2006, when she won the Ward 4 seat, and she publicly defended Lopez after his rally outside the Wilson Building.
The at-large race between Reeder and Silverman is the most competitive in an otherwise unexciting local election cycle.
With Bowser’s endorsement in September, Reeder’s coffers got a needed boost to a total of more than $310,000, with nearly $120,000 in contributions coming in the month of October, according to campaign finance reports. Silverman, by contrast has raised at total of $240,000 with about $71,600 in October contributions, campaign finance reports show.