Former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange is voicing interest in running for reelection to the council either as the Ward 5 representative or as an at-large lawmaker in 2022.
In an interview with The Informer at his Ward 5 residence, Orange said he wants to monitor the political performances of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5).
Earlier this year, Racine expressed interest in running for re-election earlier this year but he, according to a June 10 article in the Washington City Paper, “has since backed away from seeking a third term.” McDuffie hasn’t publicly indicated whether he will seek another term on the council. However, McDuffie has expressed interest in serving as attorney general.
“I am keeping my options open,” Orange said. “I want to be on the council. I have no interest in running for mayor or for the attorney general’s position.”
Orange has an extensive history of running for political office. In 1990, he ran for chairman of the council and lost to then Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember John Wilson. When Wilson took his life in 1993, Orange became a candidate for chairman but didn’t make the ballot. He ran that year as a write-in but received less than 2 percent of the vote. In 1994, he challenged Ward 5 incumbent Harry Thomas Sr. but lost in the Democratic primary. In 1998, he challenged Thomas again but successfully unseated the incumbent in the primary and easily won the general election. Orange represented Ward 5 on the council from 1999-2007.
In 2006, he gave up his seat to run for mayor but lost. After working in the private sector, Orange became a candidate for council chairman in 2010 but lost to Kwame Brown.
When Brown resigned from his at-large seat to become chairman in 2011, Orange tried to persuade the D.C. Democratic State Committee to appoint him to the position but they opted for Sekou Biddle. However, the next year Orange won the seat permanently. In 2014, he ran for mayor for the second time but lost to D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) for the Democratic nomination. He lost re-election in 2016 to newcomer Robert White in the Democratic primary. Orange changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent to run for the at-large seat on the council in 2020 but lost barely to political novice Christina Henderson.
RESIDENTS SPECULATE ABOUT ORANGE
Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ronald Edwards said he may run for the council next year, too.
“I might decide to run for the Ward 5 position myself,” Edwards said. “There are people who are talking about running for this and running for that. Some people are waiting on what Karl Racine and Kenyan are going to do. Will they stay where they are? If they decide to move, that will open up things. Anything can happen.”
Kathy Henderson, a former Ward 5 commissioner who has run for the council, thinks Orange should declare his candidacy for the position he wants.
“I have known Vincent Orange a long time and I would like to see him back on the council,” Henderson said. “He had a credible legislative record. He has the skills and the know-how to run a campaign. I think he will be a credible voice in the council. I don’t think he should wait on what someone else will do. If he has ideas on how to improve the city, he should go for it. It will be up to the citizens. Let us decide who should be on the council.”