Ward 5 special election likely to be May 15


It will be months before Ward 5 residents get a chance to replace Harry Thomas Jr. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Had the board acted Wednesday, the legal mathematics — which demand a special election be held on the first Tuesday at least 114 days after a vacancy is declared — would have placed the election on May 8.

The board is required to declare a vacancy within five days of being notified, and spokeswoman Alysoun McLaughlin said Monday afternoon that the board was still waiting on formal notification of Thomas’s resignation. She said a special board meeting will be scheduled, likely for early next week.

To save money, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) and others have contemplated holding the special election with the April 3 primary election, but that appears precluded by the city charter, which says the only exception to the 114-day rule is if a general election is within 60 days of the special election date.

As I noted Friday, at least a dozen candidates are pondering runs for the seat vacated by Thomas, who resigned Thursday night hours before he pleaded guilty to felony charges in federal court.

Wednesday’s board meeting will be the first for a trio of newly confirmed members — chairwoman Deborah K. Nichols, Devarieste Curry and Stephen Danzansky.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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