Out of the District’s nearly 650,000 residents, Ward 7 D.C. Councilmember Yvette Alexander is one of the people LL would least expect run for an at-large Council seat in November. After all, Alexander just won re-election to her own seat two years ago. Nevertheless, Alexander tells LL that, like colleague Tommy Wells, she’s considering switching her party registration to independent and running for the seat.
“I want to broaden my focus outside of Ward 7,” Alexander says, citing disputes over tree cutting as the kind of constituent service issue she’d be able to leave behind from her new position. Instead, Alexander says, she could focus on her health committee.
With David Catania giving up his at-large seat reserved for non-Democrats to run for mayor, a newly independent Alexander would face competition from candidates from a horde of other affiliation-switching Dems, including ex-Eleanor Holmes Norton staffer Robert White, former LL Elissa Silverman, and possibly Wells himself.
Alexander defends the convenient party-swapping on the grounds that she doesn’t believe in the set-aside seat. Besides, Alexander says her views can’t be confined to any one political party.
“You know, Republicans make some valid points as well,” Alexander says.
Alexander says she’ll need to talk with both her constituents and At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds, whose victory in last week’s Democratic primary means she would be running against Alexander. In practice, though, the “D” next to Bonds’ name on the ballot almost guarantees that she will win one of the two seats available in November. Alexander says she’d even be willing to campaign with Bonds together.
Alexander says she’ll decide in a month whether she’ll drop her Democratic affiliation and run.
“I think independently,” Alexander says.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery