WASHINGTON — A longtime D.C. councilmember who was reprimanded by his colleagues last year for an ethics violation has lost his bid for a fifth term to a first-time council candidate.
Brianne Nadeau defeated incumbent Jim Graham in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the Ward 1 seat. She received 59 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Graham.
Nadeau, 33, works as a communications adviser for nonprofits and is a former staffer for Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md. She was also an elected neighborhood commissioner in the city.
“What I think this really reflects is the fact that folks were ready for a change,” Nadeau said early Wednesday morning.
Nadeau’s victory came as voters also bounced Mayor Vincent Gray from office amid concerns about ethics. Five people who worked on Gray’s 2010 campaign have pleaded guilty to felonies amid an ongoing federal investigation. He lost the primary to D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser.
Nadeau hammered Graham over his interference in the city’s lottery contracting process, which earned him a reprimand from the council. Multiple investigations found that Graham tried to barter with bidders for the lucrative contract and inappropriately tried to use the process to advance his political agenda.
“I’m very proud of my record of achievement,” said Graham, who congratulated Nadeau on Wednesday. “It all came down to a single issue.”
Graham, 68, was elected to the council in 1998 after running a clinic that served AIDS patients. He is one of two openly gay councilmembers.
Also Tuesday, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and councilmembers Anita Bonds and Kenyan McDuffie won re-election easily. Councilmember Mary Cheh was unopposed.
Charles Allen, the former chief of staff to Councilmember Tommy Wells, won the primary to fill the council seat that Wells gave up to run for mayor.
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