Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie (WI file photo)
Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie (WI file photo)

A challenge to the D.C. attorney general candidacy of Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie has emerged one day after the D.C. Board of Elections announced the preliminary candidates in all of the races for the Democratic June 21 primary.

Bruce Spiva, an attorney general candidate in the Democratic primary, filed paperwork with the elections board on Tuesday questioning whether McDuffie met the qualifications to be the city’s top elected legal official. Spiva’s paperwork noted that the D.C. Code says the attorney general must be a District resident, a registered voter in the city, and in good standing with the D.C. bar for at least five of 10 years before starting their service in the position.

Spiva argues McDuffie has only worked as an attorney in the District for two years, thereby negating his ability to serve in the office. Chuck Thies, a spokesperson for the McDuffie campaign, said a team of lawyers reviewed the D.C. Code and McDuffie’s credentials and determined that the lawmaker qualifies to be attorney general.

“What else does Bruce Spiva want, McDuffie’s birth certificate?” Thies told The Informer.

The McDuffie controversy comes as the elections board determined the candidates for the June 21 primary on Monday. Spiva, McDuffie, and two other attorney general candidates, Brian Schwalb and Ryan Jones, have made the ballot in that race.

For D.C. delegate to the U.S. Congress, incumbent Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Rev. Wendy Hamilton, and Kelly Mikel Williams have qualified. Incumbent Muriel Bowser, Council members Robert White and Trayon White Sr., and activist James Butler are set to be on the ballot, barring any surprises.

Erin Palmer has earned the right to challenge incumbent Phil Mendelson in the council chairman’s race. In the Democratic at-large race, incumbent Anita Bonds is set to take on former D.C. shadow representative Nate Fleming, advisory neighborhood commissioners Bradley Thomas and Lisa Gore, former commissioner Leniqua’dominique Jenkins, and former council staffer Dexter Williams. The elections board determined that in the Ward 1 council race, incumbent Brianne Nadeau, commissioner Sabel Harris, and activist Salah Czapary are set to face off.

Ward 3 has former council staffer Eric Goulet, ward Democratic Party chairman Phil Thomas, public school advocate Matthew Frumin, former commissioner Deidre Brown, Palisades civic leader Tricia Duncan, political activist Ben Bergmann, commissioner Beau Finley, and political activist Monte Monash set to be on the ballot to replace retiring Council member Mary Cheh. Former Ward 5 Council member Vincent Orange is again gunning for his old seat but must face D.C. State Board of Education President Zachery Parker, Bowser appointee Faith Gibson Hubbard, commissioner Gordon Andrew Fletcher, political activists Kathy Henderson, Gary Johnson, and Art Lloyd in the voting booth.

Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen has no opponent in the primary.

D.C. shadow representative incumbent Oye Owolewa and challenger Linda Gray have qualified for the primary.

The challenge period for verifying the candidate’s signatures started Saturday and ends next Monday.

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