D.C. voters hit the polls Tuesday for the city’s primary election, with some such as Tyra Mobley choosing to cast their votes by placing their ballots inside a drop box in front of the Deanwood Community Center and Library in Northeast.
The Ward 7 resident said affordable housing was one of the main reasons she chose at-large D.C. Council member Robert White as the Democratic mayoral candidate, as well as his “mild demeanor” that she said will enable him to handle certain crises.
“I think we need a new perspective,” she said. “No one can afford the housing here in the city. I think [White] can be relatable to people and get things done.”
White is one of three Democratic challengers to incumbent Muriel Bowser, who seeks to become the first D.C. mayor elected to a third straight term in 36 years. The other two challengers are Ward 8 Council member Trayon White and political activist James Butler.
While heading to work, John Morris stopped by the community center in Ward 7 to drop off his mail-in ballot that included a vote for Bowser.
“I don’t think she would keep the status quo, but I do see her moving the city forward,” Morris said. “I think how she’s bringing people into the city to live to get more tax dollars has helped. That can continue.”
Meanwhile, voters will choose an attorney general candidate to replace Karl Racine, who chose to not seek reelection. Ryan Jones, Brian Schwalb and Bruce Spiva are running for the seat.
Morris said he chose Schwalb on the recommendation of a friend.
Schwalb’s legal experience, coupled with endorsements from Racine and others, convinced Barbara Sheehan of Ward 7 to choose him.
Sheehan, who’s retired from the real estate and mortgage business, chose Robert White over Bowser.
“I don’t think you need a mayor for life,” she said, adding that she also wants to see improvements to the city’s education system.
“We need somebody new who will take a different approach. It may not be perfect, but it makes everybody think a little bit more about how to improve education,” said Sheehan, who also taught math in middle school. “[Bowser] hasn’t done enough. There are people in certain parts of the city that need help.”
Zarnita Marshall, another Ward 7 resident, said Bowser will provide that assistance such as a $20,000 signing bonus to recruit new officers.
“I hope the next step will be hiring more Black officers who live in the city,” said Marshall, who voted after she got off work from the city’s 911 call center and voted for Bowser a second time. “She’s done pretty good with the city since our last mayor.”
Voters will also choose their party’s nominees for congressional delegate, council chair, one of the two at-large seats and council members for Wards 1, 3, 5 and 6.
The Democratic winners move on to the Nov. 8 general election, where registered members of that party outnumber Republicans in the city by a 10-to-1 ratio.
Polls and drop boxes close at 8 p.m.