Metro Weekly

Most LGBTQ candidates in D.C. are seeking lower-level elective office

At least 46 out candidates are running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats, while only three are up for Council

randy downs, dc, candidate, election

Ward 2 Council candidate Randy Downs – Photo: Facebook

As Election Day approaches, several dozen out LGBTQ candidates are seeking political office in the District.

Three candidates are running for seats on the Council, three more candidates are running for the DC State Board of Education, and at least 46 openly LGBTQ people are running for seats on local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, local bodies that serves as advisory boards on issues such as zoning, streets, recreation, education, social services delivery, sanitation, planning, and development issues.

In the Council’s At-Large race, ANC 6E Commissioner Alex Padro is running as an independent, while Joe Henchman-Bishop, is running as the Libertarian Party nominee. The top-two vote-getters in the race — which has grown to include two dozen candidates in total — will earn Council seats.

Incumbent Councilmember Robert White (D) is expected to finish with the highest vote total due to the District’s strong Democratic lean, but the race to succeed retiring Councilmember David Grosso (I) could go to any number of candidates, including Padro or Bishop-Henchman.

Other candidates running for the second seat include, but are not limited to: former Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At-Large); Mónica Palacio, the director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights; Ed Lazere, the head of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank; community activists Mario Cristaldo, Claudia Barragan, Michelangelo Scruggs, and Kathy Henderson; real estate developer Marcus Goodwin; State Board of Education member Markus Batchelor; and Christina Henderson, a former staffer for Grosso who now works as a legislative staffer for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Marya Pickering, a conservative activist, is running as a Republican, while Ann Wilcox, a former legal services lawyer, is running as the Statehood-Green Party candidate.

In the Ward 2 race, Randy Downs, an openly gay Ward 2 ANC Commissioner, is challenging Councilmember Brooke Pinto, who won a special election in June to fill out the rest of former Councilmember Jack Evans’s term after he stepped down due to alleged ethical violations. Pinto won the regular Democratic primary, based in part due to a strong endorsement from The Washington Post, but some ward residents — particularly those who had backed ANC Commissioner Patrick Kennedy in the primary — have made it their mission to defeat Pinto.

Independent Martin Miguel Fernandez and Statehood-Green Party candidate Peter Bolton are also running for the seat.

No openly LGBTQ candidates are running in the general election in Wards 4, 7, or 8.

See also: LGBTQ Victory Fund endorses three out gay candidates seeking office in D.C. 

Three openly gay candidates are seeking seats on the DC State Board of Education. The board’s current LGBTQ representative, Ward 2’s Jack Jacobson, is not running for re-election. Seeking to replace him as the council’s Ward 2 representative is Allister Chang, an education advocate who served as a visiting researcher at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Institute for Lifelong Learning, who recently earned an endorsement from the LGBTQ Victory Fund. 

Two openly gay candidates are among six seeking the sole At-Large seat on the board. Mysiki Valentine, a former teacher and longtime education advocate, is running, as is Dr. Ravi Perry, a longtime activist and advocate for African-American and LGBTQ issues who currently chairs the political science department at Howard University.

From left to right, DC State Board of Education candidates Ravi Perry (At-Large), Mysiki Valentine (At-Large), and Allister Chang (Ward 2).

In the Advisory Neighborhood Commission races, several dozen LGBTQ people are either running for re-election, challenging incumbents, or seeking open seats. The known out LGBTQ candidates, also referred to as “Rainbow Caucus” candidates are:

Judson White, 1A06 (Columbia Heights)

Kent Boese, 1A08 (Park View)

Michael Wray, 1A09 (Park View)

Larry Handerhan, 1B01 (Ledroit Park)

Alan Kensek, 1B05 (Meridian Hill Park)

Eric Benha, 1B08 (Columbia Heights)

James Turner, 1B09 (Columbia Heights)

Robb Hudson, 1B11 (Pleasant Plains)

Ted Guthrie, 1C03 (Adams Morgan)

Japer Bowles, 1C07 (Adams Morgan)

Chris Jackson, 1C08 (Adams Morgan)

Matt Sampson, 2B01 (Dupont Circle)

William Herbig, 2B05 (Downtown)

Mike Silverstein, 2B06 (Downtown)

Matthew Holden, 2B08 (Dupont Circle)

Kyle Mulhall, 2B09 (U Street Corridor)

Michael Shankle, 2C01 (Penn Quarter/Chinatown)

Will Mascaro, 2C02 (Gallery Place)

Brian Romanowski, 2F01 (Logan Circle)

John Guggenmos, 2F02 (Logan Circle)

John Fanning, 2F04 (Logan Circle)

Rehana Mohamed, 2F07 (Logan Circle)

Kevin Sylvester, 2F07 (Logan Circle)

Alexandra Bailey, 2F08 (Franklin Square)

Lee Brian Reba, 3C01 (Woodley Park)

Toni Ghazi, 3D02 (Spring Valley)

Christian Damiana, 3D07 (American University)

Ryan Keefe, 3F05 (North Cleveland Park)

Monika Nemeth, 3F06 (North Cleveland Park)

Matt Buechner, 3F07 (Forest Hills)

Evan Yeats, 4B01 (Takoma)

Mike Whelan, 4c06 (Petworth)

Ra Amin, 5B04 (Brookland)

Justin Riordan, 5C05 (Brentwood)

Raymond Chandler, 5C05 (Brentwood)

Salvador Sauceda-Guzman, 5D02 (Trinidad)

Michael Lussier, 5D06 (Trinidad)

Rob Dooling, 6A06 (Rosedale/Kingman Park)

Drew Courtney, 6C06 (“NoMa”/Near Northeast)

Ron Collins, 6D03 (Southwest Washington)

Andy Litsky, 6D04 (“The Wharf”/Southwest Waterfront)

Edward Daniels, 6D07 (Navy Yard)

Michael Eichler, 6E01 (Shaw)

Anthony Lorenzo Green, 7C04 (Deanwood)

Keith Hasan-Towery, 7E04 (Marshall Heights)

Aiyi’nah Ford, 8A06 (Anacostia)

Read more:

Robert White, Christina Henderson, Randy Downs, and Mónica Palacio top GLAA candidate ratings in D.C.

Trans students could be outed to their parents after Wisconsin ruling

5 LGBTQ questions HRC wants asked at the vice presidential debate

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly's

LGBTQ Journalism

For as Little as $1.15 a Week

Like What You're Reading?

Get Metro Weekly's Daily Email