After wresting the Ward 1 Democratic D.C. Council nomination from Jim Graham last month, Brianne Nadeau might be enjoying a quiet six months until the general election as the presumptive councilmember. Instead, thanks to a contested Ward 1 Democrats election last weekend, she found herself at odds last week with the same people who are supposed to get her elected in November.
Ahead of last Saturday’s election, Nadeau, the Ward 1 Democrats’ vice-chair, used her Council campaign email list to endorse the “Ready to Work” slate of new club officers. That didn’t sit well with a rival slate, lead by chair candidate and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner China Boak Terrell.
“We thought it was unfair for her to be endorsing one slate or the other and getting involved, because she was the Democratic nominee,” says Matt Abbruzzese, a Graham pal who ran for recording secretary on Boak Terrell’s slate.
Boak Terrell wasn’t pleased, either. In a Friday email to Nadeau, Graham, and various Democratic heavies entitled “Let’s End the Shenanigans,” Boak Terrell accused Nadeau and her supporters of various tricks around early voting. Nadeau’s conduct in the run-up to last Saturday’s vote, Boak Terrell wrote, “leaves much to be desired.”
Boak Terrell even questioned whether Nadeau could be trusted in office.
“I am uncertain as to how she will help run our government with integrity given her role in the calendar tricks and other games of obfuscation in this very small party election,” Boak Terrell wrote.
Unluckily for Nadeau, her coattails proved to be as small as the Adams Morgan flyers criticizing her: Boak Terrell beat Nadeau’s pick, William Jordan, 131 votes to 66. Abbruzzese and the other two members of their slate won too, with an unopposed candidate backed by Nadeau winning the vice-chair position.
“If anything, it was a detriment to her image a little bit,” says Abbruzzese, who will still support Nadeau in November.
With the club election over and Nadeau still facing a possible general election challenge from newly minted independent Bryan Weaver, Nadeau and Boak Terrell are making nice. In a statement, Nadeau tells LL that she wants to work with the new Democratic officers. Ditto Boak Terrell, who tells LL in nearly identical language that she’s also looking forward to working with the Democratic candidates.
Hey, maybe they’ll find common ground after all.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery