Thursday, September 28, 2006

Harry Jaffe: There are still Republicans in DC?

Realistically, Republicans have few prospects for triumph in the Nov. 7 general election, but the party does offer a slate of candidates. In addition to Kranich, Republican nominees are contesting in three D.C. Council races: Marcus Skelton for an at-large seat, Theresa Conroy for Ward 3 and Tony Williams for Ward 6.

During a recent Ward 3 community meeting, Conroy said her opponent, Democratic nominee Mary Cheh, was introduced as the next Ward 3 council member. Conroy, a former Marymount University professor, was forced to explain there is still a race, that “it’s not over.”

“The system accepts the primary as the de facto result,” Conroy said. “I don’t know what the Republican Party in the District can do.”

It is conceivable for a Republican to win in one of the District’s upper-income wards, if the GOP were to run as a “Rockefeller-type” Republican, said Harold Wolman, professor of public policy at The George Washington University.

But a citywide seat is out of the question, Wolman said, at least for now.

“African-American communities vote Democratic,” he said. “That’s the beginning and end of it. Unless the demographics change enormously, I don’t see Republicans citywide becoming competitive.”

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