Ward 6 Candidate Darrel Thompson Stumps for Ward 6 Council Seat
“This position should not be inherited – you should have to earn it.”
by Larry Janezich
Darrel Thompson campaigned on Capitol Hill the past few days, after time spent working the NOMA Gallaudet and Waterfront Metros. On Thursday night, he appeared at his neighborhood ANC6A meeting and at an Eastern Market neighborhood meet and greet on Sunday. Thompson launched his bid to succeed Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells on October 6, 2013.
On Sunday, Thompson said that if elected, he would draw from his 20 years of experience working in politics, and in particular his record of working on DC issues (including local autonomy and DC Statehood) while Deputy Chief of Staff for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Thompson told a group of neighbors: “This position should not be inherited – you should have to earn it. There shouldn’t be a handful of people saying, ‘You’re the guy.’ You should have to earn it.”
Thompson was born in DC and he and his wife are longtime Ward Six residents. In addition to working for Reid, Thompson was the former Chief of Staff to Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate Campaign. He is a graduate of Morgan State University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
So far, Thompson has raised $60,000 $60,000 to support his candidacy for Ward 6 City Council. The DC Democratic Primary – which, for all intents and purposes is the real election in DC – is April 1, 2014.
2 responses to “Ward 6 Candidate Darrel Thompson Stumps for Ward 6 Council Seat”
If Darrel is as good as he sounds he’s on a winner – we’re on a winner.
Based on his recent conversation with residents, Mr. Darrell Thompson is a very solid candidate and a welcome alternative to announced candidates for Ward 6 Councilman. His intimate knowledge of DC politics and his pro-active approach to leadership on controversial issues will both be assets in his campaign.
However, there is the issue of money and influence in DC politics. At the neighborhood meeting, Thompson was reluctant to state any restrictions on sources or amounts of funding he would accept in his campaign, arguing that contributions would not influence his vote. I do not doubt his integrity, but if the bulk of one’s campaign funds come from a single interest it is hard to provide equivalent representation of other interests in the community at-large.
This strikes me as an unnecessary burden for a candidate to carry into the election. Other candidates have found ways to restrict campaign funds to assure broad representation, and one hopes that Mr. Thompson will do so also.
Credible promise of heightened transparency is a major political asset in DC elections. Two plausible steps toward achieving transparency with regard to campaign contributions can be proposed, either of which is better than a policy of zero restrictions: (1) all donors providing the maximum contribution can be listed on the candidate’s website; (2) candidates can preclude receiving more than one-fifth of their total contributions from any of the readily identifiable interests in Ward 6.