The council is set to change with the departure of Grosso and the upcoming resignation of Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), long a champion for business interests.
Goodwin first entered D.C. politics when he challenged Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) in the 2018 Democratic primary. He finished third, narrowly behind liberal activist Jeremiah Lowery.
Since his loss, Goodwin has become president of D.C. Young Democrats and a fixture at local political events. He is hoping to chart the same path as at-large Council members Elissa Silverman (I) and Robert C. White Jr. (D), who won office on their second try.
“I’m ahead of the learning curve now,” said Goodwin, who lives in 16th Street Heights. “We want to ensure we have a healthy business economy so that jobs stay in the District, and that hasn’t been an agenda that has been carried out consistently by the council,” he said.
A graduate of St. Albans School and the University of Pennsylvania, Goodwin worked for several local developers. He’s now an executive for the Neighborhood Development Company working on projects such as a food market on Benning Road.
While developers are sometimes viewed as boogeymen in a fast-gentrifying city, Goodwin said his real estate background would provide valuable expertise.
“The work that I’ve done in commercial development gives me the knowledge and savvy to know how public-private partnerships should be structured and how to preserve housing for residents that is truly affordable,” said Goodwin.
Grosso has endorsed Christina Henderson, a former staffer in his council office, as his successor.
Other candidates include Markus Batchelor, vice president of the D.C. State Board of Education; Eric Rogers, who managed the 2018 reelection campaign of Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D); and the city’s elected shadow representative Franklin Garcia. Capitol Hill-area neighborhood commissioner Chander Jayaraman and party activist Mario Cristaldo are also running.
Under the city’s home rule charter, two of four at-large council seats are reserved for lawmakers who do not belong to the party in power. Although some Republicans and longtime political independents have won in the past, in other years Democrats have dropped their party affiliation to run for the seats.
Voters will elect two at-large council candidates this November election, at least one of whom must not be running as a Democrat.
White has not drawn a well-known primary challenger, and is expected to keep one of the seats. That leaves independents, a Republican nominee and third-party candidates to compete for Grosso’s seat.