D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie has taken fellow Council member and election rival Elissa Silverman to task for her campaign’s tactics during this year’s primary season that ultimately resulted in disciplinary action.
In August, independent candidate Karim Marshall filed a complaint with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance accusing Silverman’s campaign of making an unauthorized in-kind contribution attempting to influence the composition and result of the 2022 Ward 3 primary election in violation of the D.C. Code.
On Thursday, the OCF said Silverman’s actions during the primary were unlawful and assessed her campaign a fine of over $6,000.
McDuffie, who currently represents Ward 5 on the council but is challenging Silverman for one of the council’s two at-large seats in next month’s general election, speculated whether Ward 3 voters would have had different choices had Silverman not interfered in the primary.
“The OCF has determined that Elissa Silverman broke the law, finding that she used taxpayer funds to try and influence the result of the Ward 3 primary election,” he said. “’ The law is the law, and we have to operate with campaign finance law which has clear guidelines.’ Those are Elissa Silverman’s own words, uttered in 2018 in response to an allegation that another candidate had violated D.C. campaign finance laws. This is a serious issue that goes to the very core of our local democracy.”
McDuffie, pursuing an at-large seat after eschewing another term in Ward 5 to make a failed bid for city attorney general, will join five other candidates in challenging incumbents Silverman and Anita Bonds (D-At Large) for the two at-large seats up for grabs. He left the Democratic Party to run as an independent for one of the seats.