Jan 20, 2022 - Politics

'Cat out the bag': Harry Thomas Jr. may endorse Faith Gibson Hubbard

Screenshot of a virtual debate between Ward 5 D.C. Council candidates
A Ward 5 virtual debate from November 2021. Screenshot: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

Harry Thomas Jr., who ended his comeback bid for the Ward 5 D.C. Council seat this week, said he is considering endorsing a former D.C. government staffer in the highly competitive contest.

Driving the news: A campaign newsletter nearly identical to the one Thomas used for his exit announcement is circulating in Ward 5 where he endorses candidate Faith Gibson Hubbard. But Thomas tells Axios that the decision isn't official yet.

  • "I guess it may be cat out the bag," he said when reached, after some residents posted the newsletter on Twitter Thursday afternoon. He called it a draft.
  • "I think it's time that we have a woman in that seat, and I think she's very qualified," he added.
  • Hubbard, who was most recently a community affairs director for Mayor Muriel Bowser, didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

Why it matters: Thomas' exit tightened the field in Ward 5, leaving four candidates to duke it out for the seat being vacated by incumbent Kenyan McDuffie.

  • Former council member Vincent Orange is part of the field, in addition to Education Board president Zachary Parker and advisory neighborhood commissioner Gordon Fletcher.
  • Thomas had unexpectedly entered the race in November. It was his return to the political arena after resigning in 2012 and going to prison for stealing public funds.

On Tuesday, Thomas said he would instead run for D.C. shadow representative in the U.S. House.

Between the lines: Thomas' exit announcement drew scrutiny after it lifted words directly from a Georgetown University student newspaper.

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