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Bonds retains Council seat; budget referendum easily passes

Mon, Apr 29, 2013

Washington, District Of Columbia

On an election day that saw under 10% of registered District voters head to the polls, Democrat Anita Bonds won the special election to retain the At-Large Council seat to which she was appointed to back in the fall after Democrat Phil Mendelson was elected Chairman of the D.C. City Council.  In unofficial results, Bonds received 32% of the vote beating out her closest rivals – Democrat Elissa Silverman (28%) and Republican Patrick Mara (23%).  Bonds will now serve the remaining 20 months of the term and will be up for re-election in November 2014.

Proving pundits correct, the budget autonomy referendum received 83% of the vote from those District residents that headed to the polls.  In passing this measure, District residents hope to gain control of over 70% of the District’s budget that comes from indigenous revenues without having oversight from the U.S. Congress.  While the referendum’s fate was never really in doubt, the true fate of the initiative to remove Congressional oversight from a large portion of the District’s budget will be decided by Congress, as Congress must approve all D.C. laws within 35 days of passage.  The budget autonomy referendum faces a difficult road to passage within Congress because, while several prominent Congressional Republicans have endorsed the idea of greater home-control over the District’s budget, they have not been supportive of the manner in which the District has sought to gain this control.