Hunter Keeps 2014 Options Open
Delano Hunter, a candidate who ran in the May 15 Ward 5 special election, to replace former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., hasn't made a final decision on whether to challenge D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D) in the Democratic Party primary in April 2014.
"I have not made up my [mind] on running at this time," said Hunter, 28. "My decision will be based on a couple of objective and subjective factors. It will be decided on the quality of the representation of the current council member."
Hunter received 21 percent of the vote, out of a field of 12 in the May 15 contest. McDuffie, 37, won the race with 43 percent of the overall vote.
Hunter said the fact that he lost had more to do with outside forces operating in Ward 5 than voters.
"We had a plan for victory in Ward 5," he said. "We had a superior organization and campaign but we were outspent by special interests."
Hunter had the support of Ward 5 heavyweights who included Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Robert King. He received 51 percent of the votes by Ward 5 Democrats, while McDuffie got the support of the powerful labor organizations; Hunter had the active support of AFSCME, the union for government employees. However, Hunter's previous views on same-sex marriage and problems with personal finances seem to hurt him.
He remains active in the ward by continuing as president of the Gateway Civic Association and he's working on his Masters of Business Administration at Johns Hopkins University.
"I am doing these things for the next opportunity," he said. "These activities will make me more appealing for future representation."
Hunter said that planning for 2014 at this time is somewhat premature but he's keeping his finger on the pulse of the ward.
"While it is too early to make an assessment of the level of representation in the ward, I will determine next year whether it is politically expedient for me to move forward," he said. "I will assess next year whether the needs of the ward are being met and then make a decision."
Wilson, Rhett Join Grosso Team
Ward 8A04 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Charles Wilson and Ward 7 community activist Greg Rhett have been asked to join the transition team for D.C. Council member-elect David Grosso.
Wilson, 36, is an active member of the Anacostia neighborhood in Ward 8, serving as president of the Historic Anacostia Block Association in Southeast and is a well-respected activist. He said Grosso personally asked that he join the transition team.
"I decided to [join the transition team] because as an at-large city council member his policies will directly affect my ward and I wanted to have a seat at the table," Wilson said.
Grosso defeated D.C. Council member Michael Brown (I-At Large) and four other challengers in the general election on Nov. 6. Grosso's transition team will work on four subcommittees to develop a legislative and policy agenda including education, ethics, community college/workforce development and office administration and outreach.
Rhett, who served as the president of the Eastland Garden Civic Association in Northeast for many years, will work with Grosso on creating jobs in Ward 7.
"I will work with him on workforce development and helping small businesses," said Rhett, 54. "I want to do this because these things are important to the ward."
Grosso's team includes residents from every ward in the city.
"It is an honor to have so many qualified and dedicated D.C. residents step up to create a smooth transition into office," Grosso said. "With this team, we are going to be able to hit the ground running in January. I am continuing my promise of transparency and community engagement and look forward to restoring trust in the council and the D.C. government."