November 23, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Dems to appoint interim Council member
Phil Mendelson, D.C. Council, Washington Blade, gay news

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large). (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. Democratic State Committee is inviting qualified registered Democrats in the city to take out petitions to compete for the committee’s selection on Dec. 10 of an interim at-large City Council member to fill a vacant seat.

The seat became vacant when Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) won election on Nov. 6 to the position of Council Chair. Democrats interested in seeking appointment by the State Committee to the interim Council position must file papers with the committee by Nov. 28. Under the committee’s rules, they must then obtain 200 valid petition signatures of registered Democrats in the city, including at least 25 signatures of residents in each of the eight wards and not less than 27 signatures from members of the State Committee.

So far, five people have tossed their hat in the ring to compete for the appointment: Anita Bond, the State Committee chair from Ward 5; Douglas Sloan, a State Committee member from Ward 4 and former campaign manager for At-Large Council member Vincent Orange; Donna Alston of Ward 7; John Capozzi, a former State Committee member from Ward 7.

The fifth candidate, David Fuller, didn’t submit a valid address of residence and may be disqualified if he doesn’t submit a valid address by the Nov. 28 filing deadline, according to a source familiar with the State Committee.

The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political organization, has yet to announce whether it will make an endorsement for a candidate competing for the interim appointment.

Under the city’s election law, the person appointed to the seat will hold the position until a special election for the seat is held in the spring of 2013.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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