D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At-Large), who has said he expects to resign from office as soon as this week, has suggested that the city’s Democratic Committee appoint an Asian, Latino, LGBT person, or millennial to temporarily replace him, according to the Washington Post.
Orange lost his re-election bid in the city’s Democratic primary in June and has accepted a job as president and chief executive officer of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. He announced plans to resign from the Council this week after his Council colleagues and others said it would be a conflict of interest for him to remain on the Council while heading a prominent business organization.
The Post reports that in a Twitter posting on Monday, Orange said he disagrees with plans by Council member and D.C. Democratic Party Chair Anita Bonds (D-At-Large) to appoint Robert White to the Council seat until January. White beat Orange and two others, including gay Democrat David Garber, in the primary.
White, who is running as the Democratic Party nominee for the seat in the Nov. 8 general election, is considered the odds-on favorite to win. He is a longtime supporter of LGBT rights and received strong support in the primary from LGBT activists.
Earl Fowlkes, president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest local LGBT political group, said he appreciates Orange’s suggestion that an LGBT person be appointed to hold the seat between now and January. But Fowlkes said he agrees with Bonds’ plans to ask the D.C. Democratic State Committee to appoint White.
“Having an LGBT person symbolically there for three or four months doesn’t really make that much of a difference,” Fowlkes said. “I think it’s appropriate to appoint Robert White to the seat. And I think he will represent all those populations who are not covered on the City Council pretty well,” Fowlkes said.