The Northwest Current endorsed independent candidate David Grosso and incumbent Democrat Vincent B. Orange for the D.C. Council in an editorial on Wednesday, though the newspaper’s support of Orange is tepid.
With a little less than a month until the Nov. 6 contest for two seats, The Current signaled out Grosso as the best suited for the council, stating he “stands out in what is ultimately a disappointing field.”
“His knowledge of the issues leave us confident of his ability to serve ably on the D.C. Council,” states the editorial, which cited Grosso’s support for tax breaks for developers who supply affordable housing, an expansion of wraparound services for students, and new initiatives to target school overcrowding.
But The Current, a well-respected publication that covers several Northwest neighborhoods, apparently struggled in deciding on its second endorsed candidate.
In a likely setback for her campaign, the newspaper did not endorse Republican Mary Brooks Beatty because it said she failed to offer detailed policy positions on several issues.
“Beatty is appealing as she provides a welcome image of integrity amid a period of political distrust,” the editorial stated. “Like Grosso, she wants to encourage economic development…But when questioned on this subject, which she described as one of her key issues, she offered no specific program as a solution – a major weakness, in our view.”
Of the seven candidates seeking two at-large seats on the ballot, one of which is reserved for a non-Democrat, The Current also ruled out incumbent Michael A. Brown, an independent. The newspaper cited Brown’s struggle over the years to pay his rent, mortgage and taxes on time, his prior push to legalize Internet gambling, and the ongoing investigation into businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson’s campaign contributions.
The editorial also expressed reservations about Orange’s ties to Thompson, but concluded voters should return Orange for another term because of his record as chairman of the Committee on Small and Local Business Development.
“He has pushed for companies to do a better job of hiring local residents, and pressed for bureaucrats to simplify the reams of paperwork necessary for small businesses to operate in the city,” the editorial states, though it adds in the following sentence the newspaper was “at best ambivalent” about Orange’s record.
Also Wednesday, the Gay and Lesbian Activists released its candidate rankings on issues of concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender voters.
In the at-large race, GLAA gave Grosso the highest score, a nine out of 10, citing his answers to a questionnaire and his record as a former aide to former Ward 6 council member Sharon Ambrose in the early 2000s.
Brown received the second highest ranking, a 7.5. GLAA officials said in a statement Brown “showed a good grasp of the substance” of GLBT concerns and had been a “consistent ally” on the council.