The race for the Ward 1 council seat has taken a boisterous turn as one of the challengers to Council member Brianne Nadeau has been accused of having ties to Republicans and not spending enough time in the community.
Salah Czapary wants to defeat both Nadeau and Sabel Harris in the June 21 Democratic primary.
But Ward 1 Democratic political activist Stanley Mayes said he knows little about Czapary.
“I have been active in city and Ward 1 politics for decades but I haven’t heard of this man before last year,” Mayes said. “I don’t know anything about his community service. I am not aware of anything that he has done in Ward 1. I have nothing against him, I just don’t know him.”
Camille Glover said Czapary’s staffers’ ties to the GOP disturb her.
“It appears to me that Czapary is posing as a Democrat and it seems to me that his campaign team is all-white and all-male while Ward 1 is the most diverse in the city.”
Census data reveals whites make up 47% of the population while Blacks are 25% and Latinos are 18%. Ward 1 stands as the only ward in the city with no majority race.
Czapary, in a text, disputed claims made about his candidacy.
“My team is very much rooted in the Democratic Party,” he said. “My campaign manager is Steve Schwab, who Speaker Nancy Pelosi called ‘an incredible leader,’ has run a dozen Democratic campaigns. My field director worked for Bernie Sanders and my committee leader worked on both the Obama and Biden campaigns.”
Czapary said he let go of his registered Republican staffer Will Pack saying, “it was my mistake not to vet him.”
Czapary said the residents of Ward 1 “know me and know my heart and they know I will fight for their concerns on the council.”
“We cannot afford four more years of a council member who wavers in their support for law enforcement during a surge in violent crime, obstructs our city’s plan to get unhoused residents into housing and puts the burden on residents to soundproof their homes instead of tackling the source of the illegal ATV noise issue,” he said.
Czapary said he has been endorsed by former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and former U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho.