A friendly game of kickball ended in a 6-6 tie, on July 10 between Ward 7 Democrats and their Ward 8 colleagues to strengthen ties between the political clubs and compete for bragging rights, while registering voters.
The clubs met at Oxon Run Park in Ward 8. The Ward 7 Democrats wore bright yellow t-shirts with a blue number “7” on the front and back. Members of the Ward 8 Democrats team wore individual athletic wear.
D.C. Democratic State Committee Chairman Charles Wilson, a Ward 8 resident, attended the game and expressed satisfaction about the two clubs playing kickball to attract folks to a voter registration event.
“This game can make east of the river politics stronger than what it is,” Wilson said. “This is the first time I can remember when political clubs in the city got together to play a game. I know the political clubs from different wards have gotten together to hold joint forums, but not much of anything else.”
While District political leaders aren’t frequent sports competitors, athletics between congressional members is decades old. The Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, which consists Democratic members of Congress competing against their Republican colleagues, has been an annual event since 1909, except for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s Congressional Baseball Game is scheduled for Sept. 29 at Nationals Park.
A few weeks later, members of Congress, along with former National Football League players, are to play in the Congressional Football Game—started in 2004– against U.S. Capitol Police officers in a touch football game Nov. 3, 2021, at Audi Field.
A Congressional Soccer Game has been held between Democrats and Republicans in the District since 2013.
The Ward 7 Democrats raced to an early start with three quick scores. At halftime, the Ward 7 Democrats held a commanding 3-0 lead, but in the fourth inning, the Ward 8 Democrats surprised their Ward 7 colleagues with two scores, the result of short kicks and quick sprints to the bases.
After the Ward 8 Democrats scored their first two points, the Ward 7 team used a timeout for a passionate on-field strategy session. By the top of the sixth inning, Ward 7 led, 4-3.
However, a powerful homerun kick by a Ward 8 team member put his team ahead for the first time in the game. However, later in the seventh inning, Ward 7 scored twice with a short kick that brought two members home, regaining the lead. A Ward 8 player kicked another homeroom tying the score tied at 6.
The referee declared the game a draw.
Wendell Felder, the chairperson of the Ward 7 Democrats, shook off his slight disappointment at not winning the game outright and applauded the event.
“This was a good event,” Felder said. “Whether it was people playing for Ward 7 or playing for Ward 8, it showed unity among our wards. We will need the unity as the election for mayor, attorney general, chairman and the at-large council seats are next year.”
Felder said the next match against Ward 8 will take place in his ward. He didn’t specify where or when, or even if kickball will be the game.
He wanted to make one thing clear, though.
“Next time, we will win for sure,” he said.
From the crowd of about 30 spectators, several registered, become new District voters.

James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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