WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – It’s Election Day in the District; at least for voters in Ward 5. Tuesday marks the day of a special election to replace Harry Thomas, Jr.’s City Council seat in Washington, D.C.
Thomas pleaded guilty in January to stealing public funds earmarked for youth sports and filing false tax returns, and then later resigned.
Thomas’ replacement will serve out the remainder of his term through 2014. There are 61,316 eligible voters. Poles open at 7 a.m and will remain open until 8 p.m.
Meet the candidates:
John Cheeks (no party affiliation):
He is a business owner and community activist who has lived in the city for 32 years. He says if elected he will require all public officials to undergo yearly drug tests and the results will be made public.
Rae Zapata (Democratic):
She is a local attorney in private practice who has lived in Ward 5 for 21 years. She is president of the Ward 5 Council on Education.
Ruth Marshall (Democratic):
She lives in the Queens Chapel area of the ward. Marshall has served as both president of the Queens Chapel Civic Association and the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations. She’s the director of administration for Premier Consultants International, Inc., a construction services firm in Northwest.
Tim Day (Republican):
He is a lifelong resident of Ward 5. He is an accountant who lives in Brookland. It was Day and the D.C. Republican Committee who first raised questions about Harry Thomas Jr.’s nonprofit fundraising.
Delano Hunter (Democratic):
He is a native Washingtonian. Hunter ran for the Ward 5 race against Harry Thomas, Jr. in 2010 and placed second. From September 2010 until recently, Hunter served as chief business development officer for a Maryland real estate firm.
Drew Hubbard (Democratic):
Drew Hubbard lives in the Woodridge neighborhood. He is an attorney. He has worked on Capitol Hill.He has also worked for at-large councilmember Kwame Brown, serving as his legilsative director. He also worked for Mayor Anthony Williams serving as the Congressional Liason for Policy and Legislative Affairs.
Amanda Broadnax (Democratic):
Broadnax has informally withdrawn from the race and thrown her support behind Kenyan McDuffie. However, the DC Board of Elections tells 9NEWS Now Broadnax, “Has never formally withdrawn….She could still withdraw today and we would post her name at the polls on a poster listing withdrawn candidates.”
Kenyan McDuffie (Democratic):
He is an attorney who left his job in Deputy Mayor Paul Quander’s office to run for the open council seat. He has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and as an assistant state’s attorney in Prince George’s County. He lives in the Stronghold neighborhood. He has also served as president of his neighborhood’s civic association. He ran against Harry Thomas, Jr in 2010 for the Ward 5 seat and finished third.
Shelly Gardner (Democratic):
She is a lawyer and first-time candidate. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in elementary education. She is a former elementary school teacher who has taught in both traditional and public charter schools.
Kathy Henderson (Democratic):
She lives in the Trinidad-Carver Terrace section of Ward 5. Henderson is a biologist and a registered addiction counselor, licensed realtor, and former District and Federal Government employee.She has served as an advisory neighborhood commissioner and on the D.C. Historic Preservation Board. She has lived in the city for 30 years. She has served as an ANC commissioner.
Ron Magnus (Democratic):
He is an ordained deacon and a lawyer from the Brookland section of Ward 5. This is his second run for the Ward 5 seat. He serves on the board of directors for the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
Frank Wilds (Democratic):
He has lived in the Lamond-Riggs neighborhood of Ward 5 for 35 years. He is a business owner and a former Advisory Neighborhood Commission member and chairman of the Ward 5 Democratic Party. Wilds ran against Harry Thomas, Jr for the Ward 5 council seat in 2006 and came in second to Thomas that year.