February 21, 2018 at 6:12 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay D.C. Council candidate to run as independent
Jamie Sycamore, gay news, Washington Blade

Jamie Sycamore (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

Gay D.C. Council candidate Jamie Sycamore, who last year announced he was running as a Democrat against incumbent Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau in the city’s June 19 Democratic primary, has withdrawn from the primary and says he will run for the Ward 1 seat as an independent in November.

“This was a hard decision to leave the Democratic Party; however, D.C. engages in voter suppression by not allowing open primaries and a run-off to elect their representatives at the local level,” he told the Blade in an email.

“This is why I will be running against the winner of the Democratic Primary to be a Council Member for ALL of Ward 1, and run on reforming the District’s election process, so every voice will be heard,” he said.

Sycamore, 30, a professional sign language interpreter, is one of two gay candidates challenging Nadeau in the upcoming election. Gay law librarian Kent Boese, 52, who chairs Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A, is one of three remaining Democrats challenging Nadeau in the Democratic primary.

The other Democrats include former D.C. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Lori Parker and architectural drafter Sheika Reid. Greg Boyd, a former D.C. public school teacher, will be competing against Sycamore for the Ward 1 Council seat as an independent candidate in the November general election.

With registered voters in Ward 1 being overwhelmingly Democratic, the winner of the Democratic primary in June will be the odds on favorite to win the general election. Nadeau, meanwhile, currently has a commanding lead over all of her opponents in fundraising, with a reported total of $204,611 raised in campaign funds as of Jan. 31.

Boese had raised $40,721 as of the Jan. 31 reporting period and Sycamore’s report shows he raised $1,891 as of that date, placing him in last place for fundraising among the Ward 1 candidates who have filed a finance report. Independent Boyd had not filed a finance report as of the Jan. 31 deadline indicating he has yet to raise any money for his campaign.

Reid had raised $52,665 as of Jan. 31 and Parker $51,276 as of the Jan. 31 reporting period, according to their respective finance reports filed with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.

Boese and Sycamore have been outspoken advocates for LGBT rights and Nadeau has also has been a vocal supporter of the LGBT community. The positions of the other candidates on LGBT issues couldn’t immediately be determined.

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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