The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club’s vote to endorse D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) for mayor and several other endorsements the club made at its June 9 meeting are “illegal” and could subject the club to a lawsuit, according to club member Don Haines.
During the Stein Club’s regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 14, Haines said the club violated its own bylaws when it voted on July 9 to endorse Bowser and the other candidates as part of a single vote.
He noted at Monday’s meeting that the club’s president, Angela Peoples, overruled his request for a ”division of the question” that would have allowed a separate endorsement vote for each of the candidates, giving members the option of voting for an endorsement of some candidates while opposing endorsements for others.
“I am fully confident in the actions taken by the Stein Club on June 9 and believe everything was done in line with the club bylaws and rules,” Peoples told the Blade in an email. “The votes on June 9 and the discussion at last night’s meeting show that the vast majority of the club members share that perspective,” Peoples said.
“However, I did tell Don that I would have an independent third party review documents to ensure the club is free from legal liability,” Peoples told the Blade in an email.
At least two other club members who side with Haines’ call for another endorsement vote are supporting D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At-Large) for mayor. Haines said he has yet to make up his mind about which mayoral candidate to support.