Jack Evans clinches primary for sixth term

Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans cruised to victory in the city’s primary elections Tuesday, virtually locking in a sixth term, while an alumnus lost his bid against an incumbent to represent Ward 4.

The 58-year-old and longest-serving council member is slated to take up a sixth term representing Ward 2 after garnering about 80 percent of the vote for the unopposed seat, according to D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics data. The election to solidify his win is Nov. 6.

Ward 4 D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser also won by nabbing about 65 percent of the vote, with alumnus Max Skolnik trailing far behind at just 9 percent.

The 2002 Elliott School of International Affairs graduate said the loss was disheartening but he was more disappointed that his team could not effect citywide change.

“The fact that we were able to get, I mean, 1,000 strangers to come out and vote for me was pretty remarkable. It’s hard,” Skolnik said.

Skolnik thanked the GW College Democrats for intensifying their campaign efforts – increasing canvassing and phone banking – in the days leading up to the primary, adding that he was touched by their dedication and passion. He said he will continue working with his nonprofit Kid Power, which offers programs to boost youth literacy rates in underprivileged neighborhoods, but is not gearing up for future elections at this point in time.

“I don’t want to just keep running for things. I believe in sort of transformational politics, that you need to build movements,” Skolnik said.

Bowser did not return a request for comment on the primary results.

Primary election turnout reached more than 58,000 voters this year, surpassing the about 46,000 ballots cast in the 2008 primary. The 2010 primary – when the mayoral seat was up for grabs – jumped to about 138,000 voters.

Evans has worked on the council since 1991, helping to balance the city budget as chair of the finance committee for 13 years.

“I would say that I was the architect of taking the District of Columbia from the time when we had a control board to a city with one of the strongest finances today,” Evans said, recounting the mid-1990s, when Congress set up a control board to oversee the city’s money management.

Evans added that he plans to pay close attention to economic development across the city, after having a hand in the construction of the Verizon Center and Nationals Park during his two-decade council tenure.

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