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Three of the top independent candidates for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council duked it out last night during the Office of Campaign Finance’s debate. Ed Lazere, Vincent Orange, and Marcus Goodwin traded blows and drew stark distinctions between each other while the other four candidates—Christina Henderson, Mónica Palacio, Will Merrifield, and Michangelo “Doctor Mic” Scruggs fought for some of the spotlight.

Goodwin claims his past as a real estate developer and his campaign contributions from business and corporate interests won’t sway his politics. He also flipped his positions on the streetcar expansion and eviction moratorium.

Orange said D.C. should repeal the universal paid leave program to help plug the anticipated 2021 revenue shortfall.

And Lazere, responding to opponents’ criticisms that his past lobbying to spend down the District’s reserve funds is “fiscally irresponsible,” defended his record and said, in fact, the District should spend more of the reserves right now!

Read a recap of the second of three OCF-hosted debates here.

—Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

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