“His decision to run for Ward 2 Councilmember again, which we do not and cannot support, shows a willful and arrogant disregard for ethics and is not in the best interests of the District,” the lawmakers wrote.
“It is time to rebuild the public’s trust in the Council, which is why it is time to move on and focus on the issues that matter most to the residents and businesses of our city,” they wrote.
The same council members in December took the unprecedented step of agreeing to oust Evans after an investigation found he violated ethics rules by using his office to benefit clients of his private consulting firm.
Evans resigned Jan. 17, before the council could take a final vote to expel him. On Monday, he filed paperwork to run in the June 2 Democratic primary for the Ward 2 seat and the June 16 special election to serve out the remainder of this term.
Evans, who has also been the subject of a federal criminal investigation, has not publicly commented on his decision to run again. He did not immediately return requests for comment Thursday.
Reactions from constituents to Evans’s comeback bid have ranged from bemused to horrified. While many who voted for him in the past say they are done with him, others said they were willing to forgive him and vote for him again because of his institutional knowledge of city government, pro-business leanings and steadfast constituent services.
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has said she disapproves of Evans’s decision but does not plan to get involved in the race.
At least four lawmakers — Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1), David Grosso (I-At Large), Robert C. White Jr. (D-At Large) and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) — have said they will push to reopen expulsion proceedings if Evans is reelected. Mendelson (D) has declined to say whether he would do so.
Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) said a new expulsion proceeding is “nothing I have to be concerned about,” pointing to the earlier expulsion recommendation. “We made our point, and we meant it.”
Six other candidates are running in the Democratic primary and special election: advisory neighborhood commissioners Patrick Kennedy, John Fanning and Kishan Putta; former Capitol Hill staffer and D.C. government employee Jordan Grossman; and local activists Daniel Hernandez and Yilin Zhang.
Katherine Venice is also running for the Ward 2 council seat as a Republican.