Jack Evans does not deserve another chance to represent Ward 2

Former D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans is putting his personal interests above Ward 2 voters – again.

Evans resigned from his seat shortly before a vote was set to remove him from the D.C. Council late last month. In response to his departure, the ward was required to organize a special election to vote in his replacement, all while candidates were already vying for his Ward 2 seat in the June primary election. Ward 2 residents’ reprieve from Evans has been short-lived because he officially filed to run in both elections last week.

While the District serves as the backdrop for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Evans’ misconduct hits closer to home. He has become the center of several ethics investigations while serving as a councilmember and has come under fire for placing his personal business interests above those of his constituents. His actions may not have gotten him arrested, but they are textbook examples of unethical behavior.

Evans’ decision to run is selfish and does not benefit voters or the Council. He should drop out of the race.

Jeanne Franchesca Dela Cruz | Cartoonist

Ward 2 voters need time to get familiar with other candidates, especially because Evans has been the Ward 2 incumbent for nearly 30 years. Voters should not waste their time on understanding a candidate who may have extensive Council experience but clearly does not deserve the seat. Evans is only a distraction to the seven other candidates advocating for ways to address issues like homelessness, transportation and the cost of rent in Ward 2.

His candidacy is not only a distraction, but it is a financial burden for taxpayers. Evans’ initial resignation is the reason the ward needed to assemble a special election, which costs money. Voters should not be on the hook for the monetary and time costs of the special election when he is making an undignified spectacle of his departure from office.

Evans is doing a disservice to voters, the Council and himself in running for another term. He is demonstrating that he has not listened to the thousands of people who signed petitions calling for his resignation, nor the councilmembers who already planned to vote him out. Voters should not forget that he was almost forcefully removed from office amid several ethical violations. Evans’ decision to run is merely a slap in the face to everyone who stands against him.

Four members have already made the commitment to reopen removal proceedings against Evans if he is reelected, and all current members of the Council released a statement condemning his run. The Council should not let Evans get away with putting himself above voters, and they should make clear that they will continue the removal process should Evans win again. He cannot efficiently work with other councilmembers when he cannot be trusted.

Voters should not be expected to dignify his selfish tantrum by considering him as a viable candidate. Evans is making a mockery of all that the Council stands for, and he is assuming that the voters are either too unintelligent or apathetic to vote against him. By running for reelection, Evans is embarrassing himself and the voters of Ward 2. If he were to win, it would show that anyone of power can get away with unethical behavior and misuse of office.

Evans’ decision to run in his own special election to replace him is just as selfish as his corrupt actions while he sat on the Council. Much like his corruption, his decision to run serves no benefit to Ward 2, harms D.C. voters by putting them through unnecessary elections and stress, makes D.C. look like it does not have a valid model of governance and makes a joke out of the ethics rules of the Council. Evans has shown a lack of concern for Ward 2 and the legitimacy of the Council. He should pack up his stuff, admit his wrongs and move on from Ward 2.

The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Kiran Hoeffner-Shah and contributing opinions editor Hannah Thacker based on conversations with The Hatchet’s editorial board, which is composed of copy editor Natalie Prieb, managing director Leah Potter, design editor Olivia Columbus, sports editor Emily Maise and culture editor Sidney Lee.

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