Gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Alexander Padro, who has represented his ANC district in the city’s Central Shaw neighborhood for 20 years, announced he is running as an independent candidate for one of two At-Large D.C. Council seats in the city’s Nov. 3 general election.
Padro becomes one of 18 independent candidates who have so far entered the crowded field of contenders running for the two At-Large seats, one of which cannot be held by a Democrat under the city’s Home Rule Charter.
Padro’s announcement comes two weeks after gay Ward 7 D.C. Council candidate Anthony Lorenzo Green and gay Ward 2 Council candidate John Fanning, both of whom are ANC commissioners, lost their races in the June 2 D.C. Democratic primary.
In a statement released to the Washington Blade, Padro said he will emphasize the successes he has had as an ANC member and in his dual role as executive director of Shaw Main Streets, a nonprofit community development organization.
“I’ve led the effort to transform Shaw from a neighborhood that outsiders only visited to buy drugs and sex to a world-renowned dining and entertainment destination filled with public art and restored African-American landmarks, adding thousands of new residents while maintaining the neighborhood’s economic and ethnic diversity,” Padro said.
“I’m also proud that Shaw was voted ‘Best Gayborhood’ by the readers of the Washington Blade,” Padro said. “I want to help other District neighborhoods that are still waiting for brighter days to get the new development, businesses, and civic improvements that others already enjoy, without displacement,” he said.
Also entering the At-Large D.C. Council race as an independent around the same time as Padro is former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange. Orange held the At-Large seat as a Democrat until he lost his re-election bid in the 2016 primary to incumbent Council member Robert White (D). White, who was unopposed this year in the June 2 Democratic primary, will be on the November general election ballot along with Libertarian and Statehood-Green Party candidates, bringing the total number of candidates for the two At-Large seats so far to 21.
Under the city’s election rules, all At-Large candidates are on the same ballot, with voters given the option of voting for two candidates. The highest two vote-getters are declared the winners. In a city whose registered voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, White is considered the strong favorite to win the so-called “Democratic” seat.
Padro and the other 20 candidates will in effect be competing for what political observers consider to be the “non-Democratic” At-Large seat on the ballot this year.