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The D.C. Council at-large race is usually a haven for party-hopping Democrats. But new candidate Dave Oberting has made a more unusual change: from independent to Republican.
“I’ve spent the last month agonizing over being mentioned in the same breath as that fucking menace to society Donald Trump,” Oberting writes in an email to LL.
Despite the stigma that comes with joining the Donald’s party, Oberting says he was convinced to run as a Republican by new D.C. GOP bosses Pat Mara and José Cunningham. A 46-year-old former corporate headhunter who has lived in the District for 12 years, Oberting faces another problem in his quest for a seat at the Wilson Building—-an utter lack of political experience.
“I’ve never run for so much as student council,” Oberting says.
While Oberting could in theory win either of the two at-large seats on the ballot in November 2016, in practice he’s competing for the set-aside spot reserved for non-Democrats. That puts him up against independent at-large Councilmember David Grosso, who nabbed the set-aside seat in 2012 and hasn’t announced his re-election plans yet. So far, no other candidates are running for the set-aside.
Unfortunately for LL, Oberting wouldn’t say why he thinks Grosso should be put out of a job. Instead, Oberting, who runs the free market-y nonprofit Economic Growth D.C., says he’s out to make more jobs in the District by doing things like eliminating “distortions” in the tax code.
“If you’ve got a college degree in this town, you’re doing good,” Oberting says. “But if you don’t, then things are really difficult.”
Photo courtesy of Dave Oberting