Feb 5, 2024 - News

Big money flows into Charles Allen recall campaign

Charles Allen

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Organizers of the Charles Allen recall say they have raised $54,000 to remove the Democratic council member from office — and reeled in support from Washington insiders not usually involved in local affairs.

Why it matters: The money haul and volunteer muscle from lobbyists, Hill aides, and Democratic fundraisers means the recall effort begins with wind in its sails. No city lawmaker has ever been removed in a recall election.

The big picture: The move to oust Allen in Ward 6 — which includes the Hill, part of H Street NE, and the Southwest waterfront — is fueled by dissatisfaction with his stances on crime.

  • Democratic lobbyist and Capitol Hill resident Moses Mercado is volunteering his bona fides as a field organizer, says campaign spokesperson Rich Masters, who himself is a public affairs executive in town.
  • Bloomberg first reported Mercado's involvement along with other names. They include Michael Hacker, the in-house lobbyist for TikTok and a former House Democratic leadership aide; Dem fundraiser Tonya Fulkerson; and Mitchell Rivard, chief of staff for Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.).

Of note: The recall's fundraising report wasn't public as of Friday because organizers had trouble filing it with the Office of Campaign Finance. The online system initially blocked the group's IP address "because of a voluminous number" of donations to the recall being inputted, OCF spokesperson Wesley Williams tells Axios.

Catch up fast: Jennifer Squires, a former federal worker who previously voted for Allen, formed a recall committee last month.

  • Allen has handily won office three times, but his championing of criminal justice reforms has garnered some passionate foes, including the police union.

What's next: The Board of Elections could issue petitions for the recall at its Feb. 13 meeting.

  • Organizers need to collect about 7,500 signatures to force a recall election.
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