May 23, 2022 - Politics

Mary Cheh backs Ward 3 candidate Tricia Duncan as successor

Photo of Tricia Duncan taken outdoors

Photo courtesy of Tricia Duncan campaign

Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh said she's supporting Tricia Duncan to take her seat in a crowded election.

Why it matters: Cheh's support is a major development in the race of nine Democrats, as several candidates jockey to break out with less than a month until the primary elections.

  • Top issues in the affluent ward include student overcrowding at highly sought-after public schools, a lack of affordable housing, and expanding transit and bicycle access.
  • The ward stretches from quiet Foxhall Village to the busy Connecticut Avenue corridor — constituencies ranging from two college campuses to senior centers and the District’s richest ZIP codes.

What they're saying: "Tricia is smart, energetic, knows the issues, and actually listens to residents’ concerns," Cheh said about the former president of the Palisades Community Association. "She’s been involved in her local community and active in school matters."

State of play: Meanwhile, local schools advocate Matt Frumin gained the endorsement of Ruth Wattenberg, the Ward 3 representative on the State Board of Education.

  • "Among candidates who care about these issues, he is the one with the clearest path to victory," Wattenberg said in a statement.

In addition, former D.C. government budget director Eric Goulet is gaining momentum after being endorsed by the Washington Post.

  • However, he is also facing criticism from all eight of his rivals over comments he made about housing voucher recipients in the ward.
  • Other candidates are Ben Bergmann, chair of the Palisades advisory neighborhood commission; Beau Finley, chair of the Cleveland Park advisory neighborhood commission; Republican-turned-Democrat Monte Monash; Deirdre Brown, a former Forest Hill advisory neighborhood commissioner; and Phil Thomas, a former Bowser administration official.

💭 Cuneyt's thought bubble: Whew, that's a lot of names. Even when insiders winnow the field to top contenders, five names emerge: Frumin, Bergmann, Thomas, Duncan, and Goulet.

  • Also, there is no legit polling in the race, so most observers are looking closely at campaign fundraising and name recognition.

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