Jan 4, 2023 - Politics
Town Talker

What to watch in local politics in 2023

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Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

It's Cuneyt, with my Town Talker column looking at what's coming up this year in local politics.

🎯 A Republican House

Once Republicans get their affairs in order — whether they pick or toss Kevin McCarthy as Speaker — they will presumably make good on their promise to meddle more in local D.C. affairs.

  • Sometimes known as the Super City Council, the U.S. Congress retains final say over the District. They have said they’ll investigate Mayor Muriel Bowser and some want to strip Home Rule, potentially causing all sorts of shenanigans for liberal D.C.

🏚 Waiting for the FBI

The FBI HQ sweepstakes is the saga that won’t end. Back in 2018, President Trump was obsessed with the fate of the “terrible” brutalist building downtown.

  • We’ve come a long way since then — or have we? The federal government was supposed to decide on the final location last year.
  • As I’ve written, sites in Prince George’s County and in Springfield are each vying to win the HQ, which would be a prized employer for either suburb.

⚡️ Virginia elections

The Virginia legislature is narrowly split — Democrats typically count on a one- or two-vote cushion in the Senate, and Republicans have a four-member majority in the lower House of Delegates.

  • This year, all 40 seats in the Senate and 100 seats in the House will be on the ballot.

It will be the first big political test for Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who parlayed his 2021 victory and dad-vest vibes into national publicity.

The Wilson Building

Mayor Bowser started her third term this week by pledging to “push the envelope.”

  • We’ll be watching how well she gets along with the D.C. Council and new Attorney General Brian Schwalb, who takes office under more amicable terms with the mayor than his predecessor did.

💬 Town Talker is a weekly column on local politics and power. Drop me a line about the talk of the town: [email protected]


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