“I have decided it is best to not seek to run for the position which I resigned from in January and instead focus on a new start for the next four years,” Evans told The Washington Post on Wednesday. “Not running in the special is also a way of showing my sincere regret for the mistakes I made.”
Evans left office in a cloud of scandal after multiple investigations found he acted unethically by using his office to assist his private consulting clients. Before he stepped down, all 12 of his colleagues on the council were prepared to make him the first District lawmaker to be removed from office.
Evans filed to run for office again 10 days after his resignation, drawing widespread criticism.
He collected signatures to compete in the June 16 special election but decided against turning them in by Wednesday’s deadline. The winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Evans’s term, through January.
If Evans does prevail in the primary — which is tantamount to the general election in a deep-blue city — the D.C. Council will be in an awkward position of having a new member serve for just six months.
Other candidates in the special election are advisory neighborhood commissioners Patrick Kennedy, Kishan Putta and John Fanning; former federal and city worker Jordan Grossman; Brooke Pinto, a former staffer in the office of Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D); political newcomer Yilin Zhang; and Republican Katherine Venice. Democratic primary candidate Daniel Hernandez is not competing in the special election.
Racine said Wednesday he is formally endorsing Pinto.
Evans is asking his constituents for forgiveness for his transgressions and to return him to office because of his record of delivering for the western ward, which includes Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom and downtown.
His opponents have said it is time for the ward to have new leadership.
Evans, 66, held office for nearly three decades and developed a reputation as a champion for business, downtown development and fiscal prudence.
In addition to investigations by Metro, for which he served as board chairman, and the D.C. Council, Evans was the target of a federal investigation. A federal grand jury issued subpoenas for documents related to Evans and his businesses, while the FBI searched his home in June. He has not been charged with a crime.
The D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability has also reopened a probe of Evans that may wrap up before the primary.