The longest-running soap opera in hyperlocal D.C. politics appears to be nearing an end.
If Tuesday’s poll results hold, “Mahdi” Leroy Joseph Thorpe Jr.‘s reign of insanity over the affairs over Shaw’s advisory neighborhood commission 2C will be over. For years, Thorpe ruled ANC meetings with a capricious hand, in the service of his race-baiting activist tactics (see this old CP story for deets), and even after Thorpe was unseated as a commissioner two years ago, his malevolent presence remained: His allies retained two of the four seats on the panel, and the chair, Doris Brooks, decided to name Thorpe the commission’s executive assistant and parliamentarian.
The 2-2 stalemate appears to have been broken, barring an absentee-ballot-fueled miracle: According to unofficial election-day tallies, Alex Padro held off Thorpe ally Mary Sutherland and another challenger with 62 percent of the vote in SMD 2C01; Kevin Chapple won a second term over Thorpe in 2C02 by a seven-point margin; challenger Theresa Sule knocked off Barbara Curtis in 2C04 by a 10-point margin. Brooks held off a challenge from Jessica Lanza by a healthy margin in 2C03.
Padro, who’s long been Thorpe’s most steadfast critic, says the new ANC’s first order of business will be to fire Thorpe from his (unpaid) parliamentarian and executive assistant post. Further likely changes, he says, will involve changing the panel’s bylaws to improve accountability and transparency.
“Now we have three reasonable people serving on ANC 2C,” he says.
“While we were out at the polls yesterday, we were about Barack Obama, and how our long national nightmare would finally be over. I countered that if we were able to get three people elected to the ANC, then our long neighborhood nightmare would finally be over,” Padro says. “We’re finally waking up.”