Brooke Pinto, a former D.C. assistant attorney general for policy and legislative affairs, is the presumptive Democratic nominee for Ward 2’s D.C. Council seat.
Pinto, who resigned from her position in the attorney general’s office ahead of her February campaign announcement, earned the endorsements of several D.C. leaders and congresspeople throughout her campaign, including Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine. She ran on a platform to support small businesses, increase affordable housing in the ward and reduce crime.
Pinto, 28, had secured almost 28 percent of the vote after Tuesday’s election, just ahead of Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission Chair Patrick Kennedy, who had racked up about 26 percent of the vote. As mail-in ballots continued to trickle in Saturday, Pinto was still leading with 28 percent of the vote while Kennedy had fallen to 25 percent, according to the D.C. Board of Elections.
Kennedy announced he was conceding both the primary and special elections in a statement released Saturday. Jordan Grossman, a former staffer for former President Barack Obama, came in third and conceded the race Friday.
Pinto declared victory in a press release Thursday and said she is now focused on securing victory in the ward’s special election on June 16.
“For those who voted for one of the other very capable and thoughtful candidates, your voice will be heard and well represented in the general election as we fight to ensure greater equity in our community,” Pinto said in the release. “I promise to make you proud.”
In the November general election, Pinto will face Katherine Venice, the lone Republican in the race, who secured the Republican nomination with 85 percent of the vote. The remaining 15 percent of Republican voters chose a write-in candidate, according to the D.C. Board of Elections.
Ward 2’s D.C. Council seat was left empty when former Councilmember Jack Evans ended his nearly 30-year tenure on the Council amid reports that he had unethically used his seat to solicit business for his personal consulting firm. Evans joined the race for the special election that was initiated because of his departure, but he later withdrew from the special election and contended only in the primary.
Evans won just over 3 percent of the primary vote, according to the D.C. Board of Elections.
The D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability fined Evans $35,000 – the largest sum the board has fined – late last month for breaking the D.C. Council’s ethics code.
Reports of long voting lines and missing mail-in ballots surfaced on social media Tuesday afternoon. Some voters reported waiting in line for hours to cast their ballots, and several voters told reporters that they applied to vote by mail but never received their ballot, DCist reported.
Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented a 7 p.m. curfew – exempting voters and election volunteers – for Monday and Tuesday to quell violence that had erupted over the weekend during the citywide protests against racism and police brutality.
Nearly 40 ANC commissioners throughout the city addressed a letter to the mayor Tuesday asking that she extend Tuesday’s curfew to 8:30 p.m., arguing that the 7 p.m. curfew could cause confusion for in-person voters.
Multiple reports surfaced on social media Tuesday evening that police told voters waiting in line to vote at Harvey Middle School in Georgetown to go home because the curfew had passed. Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue tweeted that his staff was in contact with police officers in the Second Police District reinforcing that voters were exempt from the curfew.