WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama was expected to receive the largest margin of his re-election bid in the city he’s called home for the past four years.
Obama won the District of Columbia in 2008 with 92 percent of the vote. Democrats outnumber Republicans 11 to 1 in the nation’s capital, and the Democratic candidate has carried the district in every presidential election since the city was granted three electoral votes starting in 1964. Still, Obama’s percentage in 2008 was the largest for a presidential candidate in the city’s history.
With Obama on the ballot, turnout was expected to be high, and officials said more than 50,000 city residents voted early.
Andrea Carr, a 40-year-old stay-at-home mom who voted for Obama, said she didn’t think Romney’s policies would benefit her.
“I think that if Romney gets into office, he is only going to represent people of a higher class,” she said.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who has represented the district in Congress since 1991, faced only token opposition in her bid for an 11th term.
Among the races for local office, few were considered competitive.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson took over for Kwame Brown in June after Brown pleaded guilty to bank fraud and resigned. He faced perennial candidate Calvin Gurley in a special election to fill out the remainder of Brown’s term.
Councilmember Marion Barry, 76, a former four-term mayor, was expected to win his third consecutive term representing the poorest of the city’s wards. Two incumbent councilmembers, Jack Evans and Muriel Bowser, were running unopposed. A third, Yvette Alexander, faced Republican Ronald Moten.
One race, however, has captured the attention of political observers in the district. At-large Councilmember Michael A. Brown, an independent, was trying to hold off fellow independent David Grosso.
It’s been a nightmarish campaign season for Brown, whose personal financial difficulties have been heavily scrutinized. In September, he revealed that more than $113,000 had gone missing from his campaign account earlier in the summer — the entire balance at the time. Brown said he was a victim of theft and fired his treasurer, but no charges have been filed.
The missing money left Grosso with a major financial advantage, and the reform-minded candidate has tallied a series of influential endorsements. Still, Brown — the son of the late former Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown — is well-liked by many district voters and has run as a champion of the disadvantaged.
Melissa Taylor, 50, who is retired, voted for Michael Brown.
“I am concerned about the council because it was so corrupt,” she said.
Paul Malvey, 66, a retired financial economist, voted for Grosso because he believes the council needs an overhaul. He called it “so embarrassing” that Barry, who was convicted of a drug charge while serving as mayor, was still on the council.
“I think Grosso is better because he’s not the other two,” Malvey said, referring to Brown and fellow at-large incumbent Vincent Orange. “He seems like he has his head on his shoulders, legally.”
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