Although the historic presidential election overshadowed D.C. politics on Tuesday, several hard-fought local contests also drove voters to the polls.
Long-time incumbent D.C. Councilman Jack Evans retained his seat with a landslide victory of 79 percent against opponent Christina Culver, according to unofficial results from the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. Evans, a Democrat, represents Ward 2, which includes Foggy Bottom.
D.C. Councilman Kwame R. Brown, D-At Large, and Michael A. Brown, an independent, won a contentious race for council member at-large. D.C. Councilwoman Carol Schwartz, R-At Large, who ran a write-in campaign, received more than 4,000 votes and placed third in the race, which was not enough for her to hold onto her seat.
Alumnus Asher Corson, the Foggy Bottom/West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission chairman, was handily re-elected into his position.
Throughout the day, the Smith Center voting station remained fairly quiet, though St. Mary’s Court and West End Public Library had lines wrapping around the block.
Evans made an appearance at the West End precinct around 9 a.m. In a blue suit and red tie, Evans greeted voters and supporters heading to the polls. He said he began campaigning in Georgetown and would continue to visit precincts throughout the day.
A council member for 17 years, Evans predicted a victory early on.
“I think we will do well, especially since this area is heavily Democratic,” Evans said in an interview.
With a loss in the September Republican primary, Schwartz’s name did not appear on the ballot, so a strong showing from her supporters was her last hope for victory.
Paul Winick, a volunteer for Schwartz outside the West End Library, called her a “watchdog” and someone who looks out for District residents.
Awareness of the local election varied greatly among residents. Older residents showed more interest in the D.C. election, while the younger residential voters remained focused on the presidential race.
Shirin Madad, a young voter and D.C. resident, did not know the names of any candidates running in the D.C. local elections.
“All I know is that I get a lot of annoying calls,” Madad said.
Resident Rob Hertzfeldt showed up to the polls with a crumpled list of local candidates his father told him to vote for, since he said he was unfamiliar with the D.C. candidates.
But some residents still expressed passion on Tuesday for the local races and their outcomes. With a lack of national representation, many of these residents looked at local elections as the larger priority.
Winick said, “D.C. is a different dynamic.”