Council members and political activists have expressed concern about the gender makeup of the incoming council. Cheh and council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) could be the only women on the council, which had seven women less than a decade ago.
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Cheh, Thomas and Wells campaigned on pledges to work for better schools and smart development in their wards. There was talk in recent weeks about upsets in Wards 3 and 6, with Republicans and independents hoping to make gains. In Ward 3, Cheh, a George Washington University law professor, faced a last-minute e-mail and mailing campaign by a small but organized group of Democrats backing Republican Theresa Conroy.
Cheh said the election results showed that voters rejected the group's tactics. "I'm really, really happy to vanquish a negative campaign against me," Cheh said. "I can't wait to get to work."