Last year, Marion Barry protege Trayon White lost the special election to replace Barry in the Ward 8 D.C. Council spot by less than 100 votes. Now the seat is up again, and White’s back.

This morning, White registered as a candidate for June’s Democratic primary, a decision that sets him up again the primary rival for Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May.

White, a former member of the State Board of Education and Attorney General Karl Racine‘s staff, says he’s running because the ward needs “an independent councilmember that represents the people.” The implication, although White demurred from saying it, is that May is too close to Muriel Bowser, whose fundraising apparatus boosted both of May’s Ward 8 campaigns. 

“All right, 2016 gets underway,” White said as he signed his candidate forms. Then the District’s newest candidate posed for a picture he expected would garner lots of “likes” on Facebook.

LL wrote last week on how White’s run parallels the 1995 and 1996 Ward 8 elections, when a special election winner turned into a primary loser the next year. (May’s supporters would probably rather compare 2016’s race to the many elections where a Council incumbent beats back all challengers.)

There’s already one difference this year: fewer candidates. While White and May competed against a huge slate of rivals, no special election candidates besides the two of them are in this year’s race. Indeed, Stuart Anderson and Jauhar Abraham, two special election candidates who dropped out at the last minute to support White, were with him as he signed his candidate papers.

Anderson, who promises a “perfect storm” run as White’s campaign manager, says the candidate field this year is smaller “by design.”

“Every snake that sticks his head up, we’ll be talking to him,” Anderson says.

White has already won the endorsement of Marion Barry son Marion C. Barry, whose own special election run fizzled out last year. White kicks off his campaign today with a 1 p.m. rally in a park at the corner of Martin Luther King Ave. SE and Malcolm X. Blvd. SE.



Photo by Will Sommer