Jim Graham is considering run for D.C. education board


Ward 1 residents may still find the bowtie on their November ballots. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Jim Graham’s years as an elected official are set to come to an abrupt end when he leaves the Ward 1 D.C. Council seat on Jan. 2. But they don’t necessarily have to.

Graham said Wednesday he is considering a November run for the nonpartisan D.C. State Board of Education and has discussed the possibility with a tight group of supporters.

“The thought has crossed my mind,” he said, of filling the Ward 1 board seat being vacated by Patrick D. Mara. “It is so utterly tentative.”

Graham lost in the April 1 Democratic primary to former advisory neighborhood commissioner Brianne K. Nadeau.

“Let me put it this way, there are a lot of people who have been talking to me about what am I going to do?” he said. “A lot of people are saying, ‘My god, how can we keep you in the ward and have your continued service?'”

Graham said many of those supporters wanted him to mount an independent challenge to Nadeau, but the city has a “sore loser” law forbidding that. “The theory is, if there had been a proper turnout, I would have won, but that’s all water over the dam at this point,” he mused, hours before he planned to address the education board about changes to school feeder policies.

And while many have seen the education board as a possible springboard to a council seat, Graham said he did not see it as a perch from which to launch a future restoration.

“Quite the opposite,” he said. “I’d be running for the sake of further public service.”

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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Mike DeBonis · April 23, 2014