December 4, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay official runs in new Ward 6 Dems election
Jeffrey Richardson, gay news, Washington Blade

Jeffrey Richardson is the city’s former GLBT liaison to the mayor. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Gay activist and D.C. government official Jeffrey Richardson is running for president of the Ward 6 Democratic Committee for the second time in a new election scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Hill Center located in the Old Naval Hospital building on Capitol Hill at 921 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.

Richardson is director of the Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism and is former director of the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs. He’s also a former president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political group.

Richardson initially won his race for president of the Ward 6 Democrats in an Oct. 1 election. But the D.C. Democratic State Committee voided the election 11 days later on grounds that eligible voters were denied the right to vote.

An eight-page ruling signed by D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), who serves as chair of the State Committee, says Ward 6 Democratic officials announced that the Oct. 1 election for the committee’s officers would take place at a meeting scheduled to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

But according to the ruling, committee members attending the meeting approved “Rules of the Day” at the start of the meeting that restricted the voting to a 10-minute period rather than allow it to continue through the entire 90-minute meeting.

Those arriving to vote after the 10-minute voting period ended but before the end of the meeting were “disenfranchised” by not being allowed to vote, according to the State Committee ruling

In an announcement made last month, Ward 6 Democrats said the voting at the Dec. 7 meeting would take place between 10:20 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. The meeting itself was scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Similar to the election on Oct. 1, Richardson is being opposed by Democratic activist DeLeon Ware, who lost to Richardson on Oct. 1. The only other challenged position is for third vice chairperson, in which local Realtor and Democratic activist Chuck Burger, who won on Oct. 1, is being challenged again by Joseph Slovinec.

Under D.C. Democratic Party rules, any voter registered as a Democrat and who lives in Ward 6 is eligible to vote in the Ward 6 Dems election. Although it’s too late for additional candidates to be placed on the ballot, registered Democrats residing in the ward can run as write-in candidates.

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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