Republican nominee ends campaign for Ward 2 D.C. Council seat

Media Credit: Courtesy of Xzavier Blackmone

Updated: Sept. 17, 2020 at 1:19 p.m.

The Republican nominee running to represent Ward 2 on the D.C. Council withdrew from the general election race last Thursday.

Katherine Venice announced her withdrawal from the race last week, after she ran a campaign aimed at aimed at “tackling the system corruption by lobbyists of D.C. Council, the staggering economic and racial injustices in D.C. and the fiscal recklessness of D.C. Council,” along with protesting against President Donald Trump’s “authoritarian takeover.” She said the Democratic Party has failed to seize the opportunity to stop Trump’s rise, as the Republican Party has become “a sociopathic, unsustainable, anti-Constitution, anti-democracy cult.”

“I have demonstrated leadership and innovative thinking by intentionally being a very unusual sort of political candidate – as demanded by the incontrovertible fact that the status quo model of politics is clearly not yielding good quality, ethical, just and inclusive outcomes,” she said in an email.

Venice launched her bid for the Council in January to campaign against the president’s “authoritarianism” and fix “the diabolical job” of Ward 2 voters  in re-electing Jack Evans whose policies she said “actively and inevitably shaped D.C. into the worst city in the country in terms of economic inequality, its racial wealth gap and racial displacement and homelessness, another aspect of the systemic racism.” She said she campaigned against corruption on the Council that council members like Evans have committed.

“I insisted on tackling a tough but critical issue that Ward 2 voters did not want to hear – which is that they have done an absolutely diabolical job in selecting their council member for the last three decades and that the wider community across D.C. has suffered the sociopathic consequences of this choice,” Venice said.

Evans resigned from the Council earlier this year following the probe of four ethics investigations that found he used political power to benefit his private business dealings, resulting in a $35,000 fine from D.C.’s ethics board this spring.

Venice mentioned short-term incumbent and Democratic nominee Brooke Pinto as a continuation of corruption on the Council, citing Pinto’s ties with the political consulting and public relations firm Berlin Rosen – which was involved in an electoral scandal with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2018 – as another example of Ward 2 voters supporting corrupt politicians. She said voting for corrupt candidates on the local level of D.C. enables corruption on the national level in the White House.

“Like Trump, Ward 2 voters prefer not to take any responsibility for their actions and instead prefer to point the finger for their obvious culpability at someone else,” she said.

Ward 2 voters should “peacefully protest” corruption and Trump’s leadership and instead work to “save democracy,” Venice said.

After her decision to drop out of the race, Venice said she asked to assist the campaign of one of the other candidates running for D.C. Council this fall, but that candidate rejected her offer. Venice declined to say who that candidate was.

Venice plans to run for the Council again in the future “if we manage to save democracy,” she said.

This post has been updated to correct the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Berlin Rosen is a law firm. It is a political consulting and public relations firm. We regret this error.

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