Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans will now face four primary opponents during the 2020 election season.
Daniel Hernandez, a Microsoft employee and former Marine, is a political newcomer who said he was inspired to enter the race after his “frustration reached a boiling point” while watching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing with his partner, DCist reported Monday. He told DCist that by last November – before The Washington Post reported about Evans’ misuse of his position to secure business deals – he knew he wanted to challenge Evans.
“I have a lot of issues with the way Councilmember Evans has operated,” Hernandez told DCist. “Sure, he’s had a long career and he’s done some good things in the ward, but there’s a pattern of peddling influence that I think is unacceptable and he needs to be held accountable.”
Hernandez’s campaign will center around “restoring integrity” and ensuring “safer streets” for D.C. residents through protected bus and bike lanes, DCist reported. Hernandez said he will also advocate for the expansion of mixed-income development projects and affordable housing units in higher-income neighborhoods, according to DCist.
Evans, who has not faced a challenger in a Democratic primary election in at least a decade, is the subject of a federal investigation and a recall effort for potentially unethical behavior related to his private business ties. In March, the D.C. Council officially reprimanded Evans, who also faced an ethics probe from the Metro’s board of directors last month.
Hernandez joins Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Patrick Kennedy, former Obama staffer Jordan Grossman and Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner John Fanning in the race for Ward 2 Councilmember. Like the other three candidates, Hernandez will participate in D.C.’s new Fair Elections Program, which incentivizes candidates to refuse large-dollar donations in favor of small gifts from D.C. residents.