Chamber of Commerce: Can Orange raise Pepco issues with his former colleagues?
Chamber of Commerce: Can Orange raise Pepco issues with his former colleagues? Credit: Darrow Montgomery

The greener pastures of utility lobbying hold only so many charms, apparently: According to elections-board records, former Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent B. Orange Sr. has picked up ballot petitions for the District’s male slot on the Democratic National Committee.

Orange, who did not immediately return calls for comment, took a job as vice president for government affairs for Pepco in early 2007 after his failed 2006 mayoral run. Since then, Orange has been seen often around the John A. Wilson Building. A national party committeeman spot would be a perfect perch for Orange to hone his already razor-sharp political skills while still drawing a nice private-sector paycheck.

He’ll be running against Arrington Dixon, the former councilmember and Ward 8 businessman who has held down the national committeeman spot since 2000.

Orange’s run also means the District’s Democratic voters might have no fewer than three Pepco executives to choose from on their primary ballots. Besides Orange, Deborah M. Royster, Pepco’s deputy general counsel and president of the Ward 4 Dems, is running for the national committeewoman spot and Linda Jo Smith, a public-affairs representative for the company, is running for an at-large spot on the D.C. Democratic State Committee.

Pepco spokesperson Clay Anderson says the company has no problem with its employees’ civic aspirations: “We’re fine with people’s personal lives,” he says.

One wag LL recently consulted called an Orange-Royster-Smith ticket the “Vote for Us or We’ll Turn Off Your Power” slate.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery