Feb 23, 2022 - News

Seventh Democrat enters race for Ward 3 D.C. Council seat

A wall mural of Tenleytown in the foreground

Ward 3 stretches from quiet Foxhall Village to transit corridors such as Tenleytown. Photo: Craig Hudson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Phil Thomas, a fourth-generation Washingtonian and the chair of Ward 3 Democrats, is the seventh Democrat to seek the Ward 3 D.C. Council seat.

Driving the news: A resident of Palisades, Thomas was twice elected to the area’s advisory neighborhood commission and was Mayor Muriel Bowser’s former outreach staffer in Ward 3. He most recently worked as director of the mayor’s Office of the Clean City.

What they’re saying: “I’ve worked hand-in-hand with Ward 3 residents for more than a decade,” Thomas said in a news release Tuesday. “I have listened to concerns from our residents and understand the challenges they face.”

State of play: He joins several candidates declaring their campaigns in rapid succession since incumbent council member Mary Cheh’s surprise announcement on Feb. 11 to not seek a fifth term. The Democratic primary is on June 21.

Between the lines: Political allies of Bowser have praised Thomas, who observers see as likely winning the support of the mayor’s circle.

  • “He seems to be well-regarded,” Bill Lightfoot, who has long been close with the mayor and chairs her re-election campaign, told Axios last week as Thomas mulled officially entering the contest. “He’s got a good reputation.”
  • Lightfoot said the mayor is currently focused on gathering signatures to make the ballot. “She’ll certainly keep an eye on the candidates and at an appropriate time, she might make an endorsement,” he added.

Go deeper: Six other Democrats are running for the seat.

Of note: As Democrats line up for the nomination, a Republican candidate, David Krucoff, is campaigning for the general election in November.

  • The third-generation Washingtonian who works in commercial real estate previously unsuccessfully ran as an independent for Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s seat.
  • He is a proponent of retroceding the District to Maryland to gain voting rights. But he told the Washington Post he wouldn’t push for the idea if elected.

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