D.C. Faces Statehood, Marijuana Challenges With Republican Congress

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., with Norton. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican wave didn’t crash in the District of Columbia, but that doesn’t mean the victors won’t have to contend with the GOP Congress.  

As local Democrat Muriel Bowser celebrated a double-digit victory in the mayoral contest over independent challenger David Catania, she also took time to speak with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., about the makeup of the House and Senate.  

Marijuana Legalization Advocates Fired Up in Northwest D.C.

At Meridian Pint, the mood was festive. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Heading into the basement of Columbia Heights mainstay Meridian Pint, a bouncer warned attendees of the D.C. Cannabis Campaign’s election watch party there was “no smoking and no vaping down there.”  

At the bottom of the steps, the hosts passed out specially made “YES WE CANNABIS” white T-shirts with logo featuring the District of Columbia’s flag, while a DJ blasted a remix of Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy.” The mood was glib, with more than an hour left to go until polls closed.  

D.C. Early Voting Numbers Nearly Double From 2010

Catania is hoping to be the first mayor from outside the Democratic Party in the history of Home Rule. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Early voting figures in the District of Columbia show competitive local races are driving residents to the polls, with turnout nearly double what it was in the 2010 general election.  

In that race, 13,415 people took advantage of early voting. This year, 25,300 votes were cast from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1, according to D.C. Board of Elections public affairs specialist Denise Tolliver.  

Oops: Upside-Down Flag Mars D.C. Voter Guide

Oops! (via @ericfidler)

District of Columbia residents might be confused to see an upside-down D.C. flag on the cover of the official voter guide being shipped out in advance of the Nov. 4 elections.  

The D.C. Board of Elections is playing off the image as the only error in an otherwise correct overview of where and when voters should cast ballots for mayor, city council seats and the District's non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives.  

Will Bowser Push Democrats on D.C. Statehood?

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats parachuted into local District of Columbia politics this week to bolster D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser's campaign to succeed Mayor Vincent Gray, but neither President Barack Obama nor Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz made any promises to use their political capital on behalf of residents' longtime goal.  

Statehood proponents see the chief executive of the District of Columbia as instrumental to building the political alliances that can give their cause some national traction. When Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., wanted to talk statehood last month, he invited Gray to be part of the first panel and speak on behalf of the city's residents. Gray gets to hobnob with the governors of Maryland and Virginia, the region's congressional delegation and occasional administration officials, and the activists expect him to be on message.  

Wasserman Schultz Gives Bowser a Boost

Muriel Bowser picked up more help from national Democrats on Tuesday in her bid to become the District of Columbia's next mayor, one day after a nod from President Barack Obama .  

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., joined the Democratic nominee for what was billed by Bowser's camp as a "woman-to-woman phone banking event" at the candidate's Ward 8 campaign office.  

Obama Endorses Muriel Bowser for D.C. Mayor

President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed Muriel Bowser, the Democratic nominee for D.C. mayor.  

In a statement released by the Bowser campaign, Obama said, “Muriel knows that every hardworking D.C. resident deserves the opportunity to get ahead. That’s why she has partnered with local small businesses to create jobs and fought to give the children of D.C. a fair shot by investing in our schools."  

Catania, Schwartz Offer Different D.C. Statehood Plans

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two independent candidates vying to become the next D.C. mayor presented two different views on achieving voting rights for D.C. and how best to work with — and without — Congress to do so.  

David Catania, a member of the D.C. council, told the several dozen voters gathered at the DC Vote forum that District residents cannot count on Congress to help them achieve full voting rights.  

'Women Who Make a Difference' Honored in D.C.

(Clark Mindock/CQ Roll Call)

An audience of mostly women filled the banquet hall of the Woman’s National Democratic Club in Northwest D.C. Thursday evening to honor four women in the first Women Who Make a Difference awards, organized by the Top Ladies of Distinction D.C. chapter.

The honorees represented a spectrum of public service in the nation’s capital, from the rising political career of D.C. mayoral front-runner Muriel Bowser to the first female African American U.S. senator, former Ambassador to New Zealand Carol Moseley Braun.

Fattah Aide's Corruption Case Shakes Up Bowser Campaign

The federal investigation into the finances of Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has hit close to home in District politics, costing a consultant for Muriel Bowser's mayoral campaign his job.  

Strategist Tom Lindenfeld, who also consulted for former D.C. Mayors Anthony A. Williams and Adrian Fenty, was cut from Bowser's campaign after being implicated in court documents related to former Fattah aide Gregory Naylor's guilty plea . The news was first reported by Washington City Paper's Loose Lips , which quoted Bowser saying she was "quite surprised by the allegations" and that Lindenfeld no longer had a role on her campaign.