Bonds Will Go for Mendelson's Seat
The leader of the Democratic Party in the District has decided to transition from a political activist to a full-fledged council member when the opportunity presents itself.
Anita Bonds, the chairman of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, confirmed recent published reports that she will seek the at-large seat on the D.C. Council that is expected to be vacated by interim D.C. Chairman Phil Mendelson once he's elected chairman in a special election on November 6.
"I am interested in the position as the interim council member," Bonds said. "Sometimes you can make change on the inside and I feel like I can do that now. I can be useful to the residents as an insider."
When Mendelson wins, as expected in the special election, the D.C. Board of Elections will declare his seat vacant and determine a date for the special election, which will probably be in early March.
Bonds, a longtime political activist in the city, served as an advisory neighborhood commissioner who represented the Bloomingdale neighborhood for years.
She lives in Northwest and has ties to D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and a host of other seasoned political operatives. She said she intends to submit her name to the Democratic State Committee when the vacancy officially opens.
District law states that when a D.C. Council at-large member leaves the position, the party that the officeholder belongs to fills it temporarily until a special election is held, usually 90 days after the vacancy is declared. Bonds said that she has the right to seek the interim position.
"Even though I am the chairman of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, I do not have to step down in order to get the council member position," she said.
Bonds said that she knows the process of filling the interim position well. She presided over the January 2011 process in which Sekou Biddle, a D.C. State Board of Education member, got the nod to be the interim member over former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange by a vote of committee members.
Orange later defeated Biddle and other opponents in an April 2011 special election to fill the seat permanently.
Orange, who won the Democratic Party nomination for one of the two at-large seats on the D.C. Council in the November 6 general election, said that he's aware that Bonds wants the temporary position but said others are also interested.
Bonds said that she's not discouraged by the perception that some politicians who serve in the John A. Wilson Building in Northwest are morally and ethically challenged.
"I see myself as a problem solver," she said. "I am also known for not shying away from a fight and I think that is the way that I can be the most helpful [to District residents] by being a fighter for the people."
Cooper Wants Change – Now
A.J. Cooper, an independent candidate for the at-large position on the D.C. Council, said that D.C. residents should send a message to the John A. Wilson Building in Northwest in the November 6 general election that politics as usual is over.
"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired," said Cooper, 32. "We as D.C. residents deserve a lot better. I am a candidate running for [one] of the at-large seats on the city council who is not connected to corporate interests."
Cooper's main opponent is D.C. Council member Michael Brown (I-At Large) but he also faces Republican Mary Brooks Beatty, David Grasso, Leon Swain Jr., and Statehood Green Party Ann Wilcox for one of the at-large seats.