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Today is the first day candidates can pick up petitions for the Sept. 9 primary, and the big news is this: Ward 8 resident and longtime statehood activist Eugene Dewitt Kinlow plans to challenge incumbent Paul Strauss for his shadow senator slot.
LL was at the Board of Elections and Ethics’ door bright and early this morning, and the scuttlebutt was soon flying that Kinlow would be filing. LL didn’t see him before leaving around noontime but was able to reach Kinlow at his office at D.C. Vote this afternoon; he says he plans to pick up his ballot petitions before the end of the day.
Kinlow isn’t the only one challenging Strauss; Ward 5 rabble-rouser Robert Vinson Brannum was in shortly after 9 a.m. to pick up his petitions for the Democratic primary. Longtime activist Nelson Rimensnyder also showed to file for the Republican primary.
Kinlow brings a lot more cred to his campaign against the 12-year incumbent than the others; he’s outreach director for the District’s most prominent voting-rights organization, is a member of one of D.C.’s most prominent political families, and has close ties to the local Democratic organization.
“I think that first of all, I’ve got a lot of interest in all things Washington D.C.; I’ve been interested in voting rights and statehood all my life,” Kinlow says explaining his decision to run.
Kinlow says he and Strauss are good friends—-a relationship that goes back to their college years—-but he says it’s time for a change in the shadow ranks. “He’s had 12 years to do what he can do,” Kinlow says. “I think I can do more. I think can do a better job.”