November 4, 2020 at 3:58 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
33 LGBTQ candidates win election to ANC seats across D.C.
ANC Rainbow Caucus, Monika Nemeth, gay news, Washington Blade
Gertrude Stein Democratic Club Vice President Monica Nemeth ran unopposed in her ANC race. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

At least 33 out of 47 known LGBTQ candidates running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats in all eight of the city’s wards won races on Tuesday, according to the latest returns available Wednesday afternoon from the D.C. Board of Elections.

Twenty-four of the 47 LGBTQ candidates, most of whom are incumbent commissioners, ran unopposed. Among the 23 who ran in a contested race, 15 appear to have lost and 8 have won. Returns from the Board of Elections, although not listed as the final results, show the losing candidates to be far behind their respective opponents in the latest vote counts.

Among those who have lost their race was gay Republican activist and Trump supporter Isaac Smith, who was in third place in a four-candidate race for ANC 8A06 in the Anacostia neighborhood of Ward 8. Smith, who received news media coverage as a candidate appearing to be at odds with the solidly Democratic constituents in Ward 8, insisted he is a loyal Ward 8 resident committed to fighting for local neighborhood issues.

Lesbian candidate and longtime Ward 8 community activist Aiyi’nah Ford, who was among the other three candidates running for the 8A06 seat, was in second place in the most recent voter returns, with 187 votes or 21.6 percent. Smith had 136 votes at 10.9 percent.

The presumed winner in the race, community activist Robin McKinney, received 432 votes at 49.8 percent. The fourth candidate in the race, Kristina Leszcak, had 95 votes at 10.9 percent.

McKinney, the presumed winner, told the Blade she has a lesbian daughter and considers herself a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community.

“I’m 100 percent supportive,” she said. Among other things, McKinney said she has had interactions with the Anacostia-based LGBTQ youth group Check It Enterprises, which she said produced T-shirts for her campaign as part of the group’s work in producing T-shirts and other clothing related merchandise.

Among the ANC incumbent candidates who ran unopposed in Tuesday’s election was Gertrude Stein Democratic Club Vice President Monica Nemeth, who became the city’s first out transgender elected official when she first won election to her ANC seat in Ward 3.

D.C. gay attorney Kyle Mulhall has emerged as the apparent winner in the hotly contested race for the ANC 2B09 seat in the Dupont East community in his challenge to incumbent Ed Hanlon. The latest available returns show Mulhall had 625 votes at 64.5 percent compared to Hanlon, who had 338 votes at 34.8 percent.

In the nearby Logan Circle area ANC 2F07 district, LGBTQ candidate Rehana Mohammed appears to have beat gay incumbent commissioner Kevin Sylvester by a margin of 62.2 percent (361 votes) to 36.7 percent (213 votes) for Sylvester.

In the adjacent ANC 2F08 district, LGBTQ candidate Alexandra Bailey was ahead of challenger Janice Ferebee by a margin of 54.4 percent (249 votes) to 44.8 percent (205 votes) for Ferebee.

Incumbent gay commissioner John Fanning in 2F04 and gay commissioner John Guggenmos in 2F02, both in the Logan Circle area, won re-election unopposed.

In Ward 5, LGBTQ community activist Raymond Chandler, who goes by the name Rayceen Pendarvis in the role of entertainer and emcee for community events, appears to have finished in second place in a three-candidate race with 283 votes at 32.2 percent. Gay candidate Justin Riordan came in third with 221 votes at 25.2 percent. The winner, community activist Darlene Oliver, had 356 votes at 40.6 percent.

Following is the list of 47 known LGBTQ ANC candidates and the ANC districts in which they ran and the outcome of their race in the Nov. 3 D.C. election :

Judson Wood, 1A06 (Columbia Heights/unopposed) [Won]
Kent Boese, 1A08 (Park View/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Michael Wray, 1A09 (Park View/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Larry Handerhan, 1B01 (Ledroit Park/unopposed) [Won]
Alan Kensek Jr., 1B05 (Meridian Hill Park) [Lost]
Eric Behna, 1B08 (Columbia Heights) [Won]
James Turner, 1B09 (Columbia Heights/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Rob Hudson, 1B11 (Pleasant Plains/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Ted Guthrie, 1C03 (Adams Morgan/incumbent) [Lost]
Japer Bowles, 1C07 (Adams Morgan/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Chris Jackson, 1D01 (Adams Morgan/incumbent) [Lost]
Matthew Sampson, 2B01 (Dupont Circle/incumbent) [Lost]
William Herbig, 2B05 (Dupont Circle/unopposed) [Won]
Mike Silverstein, 2B06 (West Dupont/incumbent) [Won]
Matthew Holden, 2B08 (Dupont Circle/unopposed) [Won]
Kyle Mulhall, 2B09 (Dupont East-U Street Corridor) [Won]
Michael Shankle, 2C01 (Penn Quarter-Chinatown/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Will Mascaro, 2C02 (Gallery Place) [Lost]
Brian Romanowski, 2F01 (Logan Circle/unopposed) [Won]
John Guggenmos, 2F02 (Logan Circle/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
John Fanning, 2F04 (Logan Circle/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Kevin Sylvester, 2F07 (Logan Circle/incumbent) [Lost]
Rehana Mohammed, 2F07 (Logan Circle) [Won]
Alexandra Bailey, 2F08 (Logan Circle) [Won]
Lee Brian Reba, 3C01 (Woodley Park/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Toni Ghazi, 3D02 (Spring Valley) [Lost]
Christian Damiana, 3D07 (American University Park/unopposed) [Won]
Ryan Keefe, 3F05 (North Cleveland Park) [Lost]
Monika Nemeth, 3F06 (North Cleveland Park/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Matt Buechner, 3F07 (Forest Hills/unopposed) [Won]
Evan Yeats, 4B01 (Takoma/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Mike Whelan, 4C06 (Petworth) [Lost]
Ra Amin, 5B04 (Brookland/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Raymond Chandler, 5C05 (Brentwood) [Lost]
Justin Riordan, 5C05 (Brentwood) [Lost]
Salvador Sauceda-Guzman, 5D02 (Trinidad/unopposed) [Won]
Michael Lussier, 5D06 (Trinidad/unopposed) [Won]
Robb Dooling, 6A06 (Capitol Hill East) [Won]
Drew Courtney, 6C06 (Near Northeast/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Ronald Collins, 6D03 (Near Southwest/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Andy Litsky, 6D04 (Southwest Waterfront/incumbent/unopposed) [Won]
Edward Daniels, 6D07 (Navy Yard/incumbent) [Won]
Michael Eichler, 6E01 (Shaw/unopposed) [Won]
Anthony Lorenzo Green, 7C04 (Deanwood/incumbent) [Won]
Keith Hasan-Towery, 7E04 (Marshall Heights) [Lost]
Aiyi’nah Ford, 8A06 (Anacostia) [Lost]
Isaac Smith, 8A06 (Anacostia) [Lost]

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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