The size of the D.C. Council at-large field hasn’t stopped Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie from making his pick. McDuffie tells LL that he plans to endorse Robert White to fill the seat.

McDuffie says he’s impressed with White’s Council effort, which launched months ahead of his rivals for the minority-party position that David Catania is giving up to run for mayor. “I think he’s really got a leg up because he’s gotten to know a lot of people through his campaigning,” McDuffie tells LL.

Like Councilmember David Grosso, both McDuffie and White have worked as staffers for Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, although their times in Norton’s office didn’t overlap. McDuffie says White, a Ward 4 resident, met with him before announcing his at-large run in September.

McDuffie’s endorsement should give White at least some help in a field that includes Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Kishan Putta and Brian Hart, two-time at-large candidate (and former LL) Elissa Silverman, Logan Circle wine bar owner Khalid Pitts, left-wing preacher Graylan Hagler, Statehood Green candidate Eugene Puryear, Shadow Sen. Michael D. Brown, and a whole lot of other people. McDuffie, who’s facing an easy reelection to his own Council seat in November, says he’ll knock on doors for White and tell his own supporters to cast their at-large ballots for him.

Read McDuffie’s endorsement release:

DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie Endorses At-Large Candidate Robert White Councilmember McDuffie (D-Ward 5), impressed with the momentum of Robert White’s DC At-Large campaign, endorses the District’s best candidate to advance critical priorities of residents across the District. Councilmember McDuffie met Robert several months ago and connected immediately with his inspiring personal story. “Like residents across the District of Columbia, Robert knows firsthand what it is like to battle adversity and defy the odds. He overcame the personal tragedy of losing a parent as a child, became the first person in his family to graduate from college and developed into a first-rate attorney,” McDuffie remarked. McDuffie’s endorsement was not given lightly. “It is critical that District residents elect the right person to serve on the Council at this time in our city’s history—a candidate that understands our city’s unique issues and the promise of our future,” stated McDuffie. “Robert’s commitment to his community and years of experience crafting legislation as a staffer to Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton separate him from the pack of candidates seeking the At-Large Council seat reserved for a non-Democrat.” McDuffie respects that White was the first candidate to enter the race and has shown tremendous energy and dedication throughout his campaign. “Robert has campaigned in all eight wards, knocked on significantly more doors than any other candidate, and has built a broad coalition of supporters.” McDuffie is supporting White because he has a clear vision for the city that includes every resident of every ward. “I am drawn to Robert’s positive message and his firm grasp of the issues that matter most to residents,” said McDuffie. “His combination of life experience, community involvement, and dedicated public service make him uniquely qualified for the At-Large seat.” White graduated from St. Mary’s College and American University Law School and is the founding president of the Brightwood Park Citizens Association. McDuffie looks forward to working to elect White to the Council in November.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery