Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton would like to see a special election to replace former Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. take place sooner than the 114-day waiting period established by law. Norton, who would prefer a 70-day wait, introduced a bill last year that would have had a less expensive special election take place April 3. The measure met the House's approval but was put on hold by the Senate.
"This bill was so inconsequential to the House that we got it through committee and the full House by voice vote," Norton said in an interview. "Now Ward 5 is left without representation for almost four months because of a secret Senate hold on a non-controversial local bill. Senators often use holds as part of a bargaining process unrelated to the underlying bill. No reason would be sufficient for holding up this bill, but we particularly resent being a pawn in a Senate game that pointedly excludes us."
Norton plans to bring the bill up again this yearH and has suggested that a better way for passage might be through a charter amendment.