Evans coasts in unopposed election for sixth council term

Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans earned nearly 97 percent of the vote Tueday, sealing an expected sixth term.

Elected in 1991, the council member virtually locked in his victory in November, when his sole opponent dropped out of the race, and again in April, when he clinched the primary.

As finance chair, Evans has been a key voice as the council has had to overcome budget shortfalls and pull out of the recession. He has partnered with council members like Jim Graham of Ward 1 on bills like Omnibus Public Safety Amendment Act of 2006, which allowed police officers to be tougher on crimes like prostitution, and possession of drugs or weapons. He has also helped balance the city budget for the past decade and has backed key construction projects like the Verizon Center and Nationals Park.

Graham, who is serving his fourth term on the body, said Evans’ ability to run year after year and gain nearly all of the votes showed that he had a strong following in his district. He joked that the council needed to track down the voters who wrote in other candidates.

Evans’ winning record “speaks volumes for the support he’s received for himself in his own ward… He’s a remarkable achiever with real staying power, and he’s not outworn his welcome by any means,” Graham said.

Doris Trone, an alumna who voted at the School Without Walls Tuesday, said she approved of Evans’ job on the council.

“I think that he’s served this ward very well,” Trone, 84, said. “I mean, when I listen to him on the council, he seems to be well-grounded in what he’s talking about, and I think that he is an honest man.”

Evans, a Georgetown resident, has frequently mentioned the possibility of a mayoral run, most recently at a DC Students Speak meeting Oct. 23. Evans lost a bid for the office to Anthony Williams in 1998.

Another neighbor, 78-year-old John Buckley, said he would like to see Evans run for mayor.

“He seems like a competent individual, he seems like a decent man. That’s always been important to me, if someone seems decent. It makes up for a lot,” Buckley said.

He added that the city has suffered enough from the actions of Mayor Vincent Gray, who is under federal investigation for secretly funneling upwards of $650,000 into a “shadow campaign” he ran in 2010.

“D.C. could do much better with a mayor who, from the start, will do the right thing,” Buckley said.

Doxie McCoy, a spokeswoman for Gray’s office, said Evans and Gray “worked well” together while Gray served as chairman of the council from 2007 to 2011, and now, during Gray’s mayoral tenure.

Evans worked his way up the city government chain, serving as chair of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission – his first elected D.C. position – from 1989 to 1990, where he oversaw local issues like traffic and liquor licenses.

The 58-year-old holds degrees in economics and law, and works for Patton Boggs law firm. He previously practiced law at the Security Exchange Commission.

Fellow incumbents Muriel Bowser, Yvette Alexander and Marion Barry also won reelection Tuesday for wards 4, 7 and 8, respectively. Council chair Phil Mendelson, who took the group’s top position June 13 in a special election after former chair Kwame Brown resigned in a scandal, reclaimed the spot Tuesday. He beat his opponent, Calvin Gurley, by more than 92,000 votes.

David Grosso defeated four-year council member Michael Brown for an at-large seat – the first time a challenger has snagged a seat from an incumbent since 2004.

Matthew Kwiecinski contributed to this report

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