D.C. Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh speaks as the council votes to confirm Peter J. Newsham as new chief of Metropolitan Police at the Wilson Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)
**FILE** D.C. Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh speaks as the council votes to confirm Peter J. Newsham as new chief of Metropolitan Police at the Wilson Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Ward 3 D.C. Council member Mary Cheh’s decision not to seek re-election to a fifth term has opened the door for some activists who wish to succeed her.

On Feb. 11, Cheh cited a “revaluation” of her life during the coronavirus pandemic and her desire to spend more time with her family, particularly her granddaughter.

“The past 16 years as the Ward 3 councilmember have been some of the most rewarding and valuable of my life, serving as your representative has been an honor,” Cheh wrote in a statement posted online. 

“With your support, the District has become a national climate leader and we have seen outstanding advances in our schools, expanded nutrition access and protections for the health and safety for all of our residents. It is time for someone else to pick up the mantle and I am excited for the possibilities and future of Ward 3.”

The D.C. Board of Election website reported three candidates, advisory neighborhood commissioner Monika Nemeth, former commissioner Deirdre Brown and Tricia Duncan, have each filed to run in the June 21 Democratic primary as of Feb. 13. 

Political activist Matthew Frumin declared for the seat hours after Cheh left the race.

“I am excited to get in the race to represent Ward 3 on the D.C. Council,” he tweeted. “I am joining this race late after learning that Mary Cheh, who has so ably represented the ward for 16 years, has decided not to run.”

Ward 3 remains the only ward in the District that has not been represented by an African American on the city council. 

Brown and potential candidate Phil Thomas, who chairs the Ward 3 Democrats, are both Black.

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