The Washington Post

Some D.C. Council candidates have spotty voting records

Thompson is making a strong run for the Ward 6 seat but has skipped several local elections. (

Updated 12:10 to correct details of Thompson’s voting record

A host of non-incumbent Democrats are hoping to win their party’s nomination to D.C. Council seats on April 1. Voting records obtained from the D.C. Board of Elections show those candidates’ records of engagement in local affairs varies widely.

Ward 6 candidate Darrel Thompson has the spottiest record, skipping several of the District’s elections in the past decade, including the primary and general elections in 2012.

Thompson, who registered in the District in 2000, missed the presidential and local primary elections, as well as the general election, in 2004; the 2008 local primary, the 2010 general, the 2011 special election for at-large D.C. Council member, the 2012 primary, the 2012 general, and last year’s special election for an at-large council member. He did vote in the general and primary elections in 2002 and 2006, the 2008 presidential primary and general elections and the 2010 primary.

Asked about his voting record Friday, Thompson made no excuses. “The reality is, I voted in some elections, and I missed some elections,” said the former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “All I can ask is that the voters forgive me, and I promise I won’t miss any more elections.”

At-large candidate John Settles II, who registered in August 2010, voted in that year’s primary election but skipped the general election and the at-large special election the following spring. He also missed the 2012 Democratic primary that included a closely fought at-large council race. “Every election I was in town for I voted in,” said Settles, who works as a mortgage broker for Wells Fargo. “There were times when I was either at a sales conference or away at sales training.”

At-large candidate Pedro Rubio, who registered in late 2007, missed the general elections in 2008 and 2010, as well as the 2011 special election for at-large council and the 2012 primary.

Rubio, a 27-year-old Brightwood resident who works as a federal procurement specialist, acknowledged in an interview he often doesn’t vote in general elections due to the typically decisive nature of the primaries: “We’re a Democratic city,” he said. As for the special election, he said he did not care for any of the eight candidates on the ballot, and he insisted he did in fact vote in the 2012 primary.

The other candidates have more thorough voting records.

At-large candidate Nate Bennett-Fleming has voted in every election he was eligible to vote in since he registered in 2008. Ward 6 candidate Charles Allen, who registered in 2001, has not missed an election since the 2002 general election, in which Anthony A. Williams won a second term as mayor. Ward 1 candidate Brianne Nadeau, who registered in 2005, has missed only one election, a low-turnout 2007 special election for Board of Education.

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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