Ward 5 to pick replacement for Thomas on Tuesday

Voters in the District’s Ward 5 will select a replacement Tuesday for former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., who resigned in January before pleading guilty to stealing $350,000 in city funds.

Twelve candidates — 10 Democrats, one Republican and one independent — will appear on the special election ballot.

The Democrats in contention are Shelly Gardner, Kathy Henderson, Drew Hubbard, Delano Hunter, Ron L. Magnus, Ruth E. Marshall, Kenyan McDuffie, Frank Wilds and Rae Zapata. Tim Day is the Republican, and John C. Cheeks is the independent.

Amanda Broadnax, a Democrat, also is on the ballot, but she has withdrawn from the race and endorsed McDuffie.

Day, Henderson, Hunter, Magnus, McDuffie and Zapata have previously run for the seat. Most recently, Hunter and McDuffie came in second and third, respectively, to Thomas in the 2010 Democratic primary. Thomas beat Henderson (then an independent) and Day handily in the general election that year, but not before Day raised questions about Thomas’s nonprofit fundraising that helped spark the investigations that led to his prosecution.

Hunter, Hubbard, McDuffie and Wilds have led the field in fundraising and have split most major endorsements.

More than 2,000 residents already have voted in the heavily Democratic ward, which encompasses most of the city’s Northeast quadrant west of the Anacostia River, as well as a sliver of Northwest around Rhode Island Avenue. Elections officials report that 1,976 cast ballots at early voting stations; another 671 have requested absentee ballots.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. in the ward’s 18 precincts. Residents can find their polling place or get further information by visiting dcboee.org or calling (202) 727-2525.

Residents who are not registered to vote can still vote if they bring proof of address, such as a government-issued ID or a utility bill, to their local polling place.

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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