D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) sent shock waves through the District when he announced on Nov. 5 that he will not seek reelection in 2020. Many District political observers are pondering who will be the next person to fill that seat.
Grosso has said publicly that he will back Christina Henderson, a former staffer of his who has also worked for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Henderson said she will be a change agent if elected to the council.
“When I looked at the council, I felt that there were some issues that weren’t being addressed,” Henderson said in a Nov. 8 DCist article. “There was a perspective that was missing, and I thought that I have an interesting set of experiences that would be of value to D.C. residents. I didn’t go into government to maintain the status quo. I thought the status wasn’t working.”
Other candidates who have declared interest in Grosso’s seat are D.C. State Board of Education Vice President Markus Batchelor (Ward 8), Ward 6B08 advisory neighborhood commissioner Chander Jayaraman and political activist Eric Rogers.
Former Council member Michael A. Brown has publicly voiced his possible interest in running for the seat, which he lost to Grosso in 2012.
Batchelor told The Informer that he, like some political insiders, had heard that Grosso may be departing the council. He thanked Grosso for his service in a tweet.
“I want to thank Council member Grosso for his service to the residents of the District on the council, for running the race and laying a firm foundation for good government rooted in progressive values,” Batchelor said.
Fletcher Seeks to Expand Ward 5 Democrats’ Role
Gordon-Andrew Fletcher, the new chairman of the Ward 5 Democrats, wants to make sure that his organization becomes a potent political force and aims to achieve that by expanding voter registration and engagement in the ward.
“I want to use my chairmanship of this prestigious organization to make sure that Democrats in Ward 5 get out and vote in 2020,” Fletcher said. “While there is no ward council race being contested next year, we do have at-large races in the city as well as U.S. Senate races around the country and of course, the race for the White House. I want to make sure that the Ward 5 Democrats plays its role in getting Democrats elected to office, no matter at what level.”
Ward 5 has the second-largest number of registered voters in the District with 69,663 and the second-biggest bloc of Democratic Party registrants with 55,527, according to statistics from the D.C. Board of Elections. Ward 6 leads the District in both categories.
Fletcher desires for his political club to “connect with various organizations.”
“I want to engage high school and college Democrats through voter registration and education and with such groups as Democratic women to bring out new voters,” he said.
A key constituency for Fletcher is senior citizens. Ward 5 has one of the largest populations of seniors in the District and Fletcher has tapped former advisory neighborhood commissioner Robert King and senior activists Hattie Pierce and Courtney Williams to help him bring out that voting bloc.
“I am excited about our senior team,” he said. “We are working to galvanize our senior citizens by working toward having a senior citizens’ candidate forum in 2020 and in our meetings, talking about such issues as predatory lending. We also have a goal of putting voting machines in as many senior buildings in the ward as is possible to increase voter participation.”