Breaking News
More () »

Charlotte's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Charlotte, North Carolina | WCNC.com

What can you expect to see on the DC ballot? Here's what you need to know

Here's a full breakdown of the candidates and races for the 2020 general election.

WASHINGTON — D.C. voters are expected to elect a President and Vice President of the United States in the 2020 general election on Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

Voters in the District will also decide on a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, At-Large and Ward Members of the Council of the District of Columbia, a United States Senator, a United States Representative, an At-Large and Ward Member of the State Board of Education, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and choose if they want a one ballot initiative.

Here's a breakdown of the candidates, races and new legislations for the 2020 general election.

Voting Information:

Early voting in D.C. begins Oct. 27 through Nov. 2. The city will offer same-day registration at Early Voting Centers and at the polls on Election Day.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received within 7 days of Election Day. 

RELATED: Voter Guide 2020: Here's everything you need to know

DC Candidate Profiles:

District of Columbia

Vote 1

  1. Joseph Biden (Democrat)
    Biden served as the 47th Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017 in the Obama administration. Previously, he was a U.S. Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009. He served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995. His first presidential run was in 1988.
    Website: https://joebiden.com/#
  2. Howie Hawkins (Statehood Green Party)
    Hawkins is a retired rade unionist and environmental activist. He ran for Governor of New York, on the Green Party ticket in 2010, 2014 and 2018.
    Website: https://howiehawkins.us/
  3. Joe Jorgensen (Liberatarian)
    Jorgensen is a senior lecturer in psychology at Clemson University. She has worked at IBM as a marketing representative and started her own software and computer technology sales company.
    Website: https://jo20.com/
  4. Gloria La Riva (Indenpendent)
    La Riva is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Peace and Freedom Party. She is a labor, community and anti-war activist. She ran for president in 2016.
    Website: https://www.lariva2020.org/
  5. Brock Pierce (Independent)
    Pierce is a former child-actor last seen in Mighty Ducks & First Kid and has worked in the cryptocurrency industry.
    Website: https://www.brock.vote/
  6. Donald Trump (Republican-Incumbent)
    Trump is the 45th President of the United States, seeking a second term. He became president of his father’s real estate business in 1971 and expanded its operations to building or renovating skyscrapers, hotels, casinos and golf courses around the world. He produced and hosted The Apprentice reality television show from 2003 to 2015.
    Website: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/

District of Columbia

Vote 1

  1. John Cheeks (Independent)
    Cheeks is the Executive Director for the United States Citizens Recovery Initiative Alliance. According to the organization's website, it was founded in 2016 with the purpose of “providing paths and opportunities for reconciliation of American Slave Descendants with former Slave owners that profited from slavery in the United States.” He previously ran for D.C. Council seats in 2014 and 2016.
    Website: https://sabmedi6.wixsite.com/cheeks2016
  2. David Krucoff (Independent)
    Krucoff is a commercial real estate executive and third-generation Washingtonian. He supports making the District a part of Maryland so D.C. can get full representation in Congress.
    Website: https://www.krucoffforcongress.com/
  3. Amir Lowery (Independent)
    Lowery is a former professional soccer player, who is also the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Open Goal Project—a non-profit which provides opportunities for young soccer players from underserved communities. This is his first run for political office.
    Website: http://www.amirlowery.com/
  4. Omari Musa (Independent) No information available at this time.
  5. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (Democrat-Incumbent)
    Norton is the incumbent and has held this office since 1991. She is seeking her 16th term in office. Before serving in Congress, Norton was the chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—the first woman to hold this position. She is also a civil right and feminist leader and was a professor of law.
    Website: https://www.dcforeleanor.com/
  6. Natale Lino Stracuzzi (Statehood Green Party)
    Stracuzzi is a businessman and former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.
    Website: http://en.gravatar.com/stracuzziforcongress
  7. Barbara Washington Franklin (Independent)
    Franklin is an attorney, who started her own law firm specializing in civil litigation. She also worked as Minority Chief Counsel and Staff Director to the U.S. House Committee on the District of Columbia. She has also worked as the Assistant City Administrator for Intergovernmental Relations for the District of Columbia. She once worked as a social worker.
    Website: https://www.barbarafordcdelegate.com/

RELATED: VERIFY: Here's what you should do if you receive more than one ballot in DC

RELATED: 22 million Americans already voted in 2020 election, shattering records

Vote 2

There are 24 candidates vying for 2 seats. While voters will elect 2 people, only one of them can be a Democrat under the DC Home Rule Charter. Many of the candidates running are Democrats but are running as independents to be eligible.

One of the seats is open, because Independent David Grosso, is not seeking re-election. The other incumbent, Democrat Robert White, is seeking re-election.

  1. Claudia Barragan (Independent)
    Barragan is a former policy staffer for Councilmember Trayon White and ANC Commissioner.
    Website: https://www.claudiafordc.com/
  2. Markus Batchelor (Independent)
    Batchelor is the Vice-President of the D.C. State Board of Education and represents Ward 8 on the Board.
    Website: https://www.markusfordc.com/
  3. Mario Cristaldo (Independent)
    Cristaldo has worked as the Executive Director of two senior centers in the city.
    Website: https://www.mario2020dc.com/
  4. Franklin Garcia (Independent)
    Garcia is currently a Shadow Representative for the city. An office he’s held since 2014.
    Website: http://franklinfordc.com/
  5. Marcus Goodwin (Independent)
    Goodwin is a real estate developer, who developed affordable housing and commercial properties for small businesses.
    Website: https://www.goodwinfordc.com/
  6. Calvin Gurley (Independent)
    Gurley is an accountant, who worked as a Tax Auditor for the District’s Department of Finance and Revenue.
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/elect.gurley
  7. Kathy Henderson (Independent)
    Henderson is a longtime Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) commissioner for Ward 5.
    Website: http://kathyhendersonfordccouncil.com/
  8. Joseph Bishop-Henchman (Libertarian)
    Henchman is a tax policy expert.
    Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joehenchman/
  9. Christina Henderson (Independent)
    Henderson currently works on Capitol Hill. She is the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Councilmember David Gross, who is not seeking re-election to this office. She also directed the Council’s Committee on Education.
    Website: https://www.christinahenderson.org/
  10. A’Shia Howard (Independent)
    Website: https://howardfordc.com/
  11. Chander Jayaraman (Independent)
    He is a Capitol Hill ANC Commissioner and Emergency Management Consultant.
    Website: https://chander2020.com/
  12. Ed Lazere (Independent)
    Lazere is the former leader of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.
    Website: https://www.edfordc.com/
  13. Jeanne Lewis (Independent)
    Lewis is currently serving as the Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
    Website: https://www.jeannelewisatlarge.com/
  14. Will Merrifield (Independent)
    Merrifield is a tenant’s rights attorney.
    Website: https://willfordc.com/
  15. Rick Murphree (Independent)
    Murphree has dropped out of the race, but his name will still remain on the ballot.
    Website: https://www.murphreedc.com/
  16. Vincent Orange (Independent)
    Orange is trying to get his old seat back. He once held this office but lost to Robert White in 2016. Orange served 12 years on the council before his 2016 defeat.
    Website: https://vincentorange2020.com/
  17. Alexander M. Padro (Independent)
    Padro is an ANC Commissioner for Ward 6, representing the Shaw community.
    Website: http://www.alexpadro.com/
  18. Monica Palacio (Independent)
    Palacio is the former Director of D.C.’s Office of Human Rights.
    Website: https://www.monicafordc.com/
  19. Marya Pickering (Republican)
    Pickering is a GOP activist and a defense acquisition professional.
    Website: https://maryadc2020.com/
  20. Eric M. Rogers (Independent)
    Rogers is a political consultant and Democratic activist.
    Website: https://rogersfordc.com/
  21. Michangelo “Doctor Mic” Scruggs (Independent)
    Scruggs is a physician who specializes in podiatric medicine.
  22. Keith Silver (Independent)
    Silver is a former Ward 6 ANC Commissioner.
    Website: https://keithsilverfordc.com/
  23. Robert White (Democratic-Incumbent)
    White is seeking a second term. He is an attorney. From 2008 to 2014 he was legislative counsel in Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton’s office.
    Website: https://robertwhitefordc.com/
  24. Ann C. Wilcox (Statehood Green Party)
    Wilcox is an attorney and from 1994-1998 she served on the D.C. Board of Education.
    Website: https://dcstatehoodgreen.party/candidates/ann-wilcox

Vote: 1

This is the seat once held by Jack Evans, who stepped down from office amid an ethics scandal. Brooke Pinto, the current officeholder, won in a special election to fill the rest of Evans’ term.

  1. Peter Bolton (Statehood Green Party)
    Bolton is a journalist who writes about global politics.
    Website: https://dcstatehoodgreen.party/candidates/peter-bolton
  2. Randy Downs (Independent)
    Downs is an ANC Commissioner in Dupont Circle and works for the Sierra Club.
    Website: https://randyforward2.com/
  3. Martin Miguel Fernandez (Independent)
    Fernandez works for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Website: https://www.martinforward2.com/
  4. Brooke Pinto (Democrat-Incumbent)
    Pinto joined the Council in June after a hotly contested Democratic primary and then a special election to fill out the remainder of Jack Evans' term. Previously, she worked for the D.C. Attorney General as a fellow, and then as Assistant Attorney General for Policy and Legislative Affairs.
    Website: https://brookepintoforward2.com/

Vote: 1

This office is currently held by Brandon Todd, who lost his party’s nomination in the primary to Janeese Lewis George.

  1. Janeese Lewis George (Democrat)
    George is a juvenile prosecutor in D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine’s office. A job she’s held since 2016.
    Website: https://www.janeese4dc.com/
  2. Perry Redd (Statehood Green Party)
    Website: http://www.perryredd4council.com/

Vote: 1
RACE: 11

  1. Christopher Cole (Independent)
    Cole is currently a human resources manager and also a paralegal.
    Website: https://christophercoleforwardeight.com/
  2. Nate “Ward 8” Derenge (Republican)
    Derenge has been in the Army Reserves since 2007, and serves with a transportation unit at Ft. Belvoir.
    Website: https://nateward8.com/
  3. Fred Hill (Independent)
    Website: http://www.fredhillward8.com/
  4. Trayon “Ward 8” White (Democrat-Incumbent)
    White was first elected to this office in 2016. He is seeking a third term. From Jan. 2012 to March 2014 he was a member of the D.C. State Board of Education.
    Website: https://www.trayonwhite8.com/

Vote: 1
RACE: 13

D.C. voters have two Shadow U.S. Senators, who are known as U.S. Senators by the District of Columbia but are not officially sworn or seated by the U.S. Senate. They have no voting power in the U.S. Senate. Shadow U.S. Senators were first elected in D.C. in 1990. The officeholders lobby in Congress for D.C. Statehood.

  1. Eleanor Ory (Statehood Green Party)
    She is a postdoctoral research fellow with a background in engineering and philosophy.
    Website: https://dcstatehoodgreen.party/candidates/eleanor-ory
  2. Paul Strauss (Democrat-Incumbent)
    Strauss was first elected to this office in 1996. He is a former Chairperson of the District’s Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals. He has also been a Union Organizer for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union. He is an attorney.
    Website: http://www.paulstrauss.org/
  3. Cornelia Weiss (Republican) No information available at this time. 

Vote: 1
RACE: 15

D.C. voters will elect one Shadow Representative who is recognized as equivalent to U.S. Representatives by the District of Columbia but is not recognized by the U.S. government as an actual member of the House of Representatives; therefore, has no vote. Shadow Representatives were first elected in the District back in 1990. The officeholders lobby in Congress for D.C. Statehood.

  1. Oye Owolewa (Democrat)
    Owolewa is a pharmacist and volunteers his time in public schools encouraging young people to pursue STEM careers.
    Website: https://www.oye4dc.com/
  2. Joyce Robinson-Paul (Statehood Green Party) No information available at this time.
  3. Sohaer Rizvi Syed (Independent)
    Syed is an attorney.

Website: http://www.sohaer.com/?fbclid=IwAR1K-J2RaidO3X9adsO9igpy3UacnsAKLnNqRAqbXRF2VsNyNDMTDpgsXRk

Vote: 1
RACE: 17

The winner of this race will replace Ashley MacLeay. She came under controversy earlier this year, with some calling for her resignation, after making what some considered to be, “racially offensive comments” during a Board virtual meeting.

RELATED: DC school board member criticized for 'racially offensive comments' during recent meeting

  1. Dorothy Douglas
    Douglas has been an ANC Commissioner and lived in Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8.
    Website: https://electdorothydouglas.wordpress.com/about-dorothy-douglas/#:~:text=In%201992%20she%20was%20elected,DC%20State%20Board%20of%20Education.
  2. Christopher W. Martin
    Martin is a small business owner and real estate developer.
    Website: https://chris4education.com/
  3. Troy Murphy
    Murphy is a former charter school teacher.
  4. Jacque Patterson
    Patterson currently serves as a member of the Local School Advisory Team. He also has been appointed to the Every Student Succeeds Act Task Force.
    Website: https://www.jacque4dc.com/
  5. Ravi K. Perry
    Perry is a professor and is Chair of the Political Science Department at Howard University.
    Website: http://raviperry4dc.com/
  6. Mysiki Valentine
    Valentine currently serves as the Board President for Many Languages One Voice.
    Website: https://www.valentinefordc.com/

Vote: 1
RACE: 19

Jack Jacobson, the current officeholder, chose not to run for re-election. He served eight years on the Board, two of those as president.

  1. Allister Chang
    Chang is an education advocate with a Master’s degree in public policy. He also served as a Visiting Researcher at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Institute for Lifelong Learning.
    Website: https://www.allister4ward2.com/
  2. Christopher Etesse
    Etesse is the CEO of the Mission Critical Institute for Cybersecurity. He is also an eLearning virtual technology entrepreneur. He was on the founding team of Blackboard, one of the largest online learning platforms.
    Website: https://chriseduward2.com/
  3. James Harnett
    Harnett is an engineer and also an ANC Commissioner representing Foggy Bottom and the West End.
    Website: https://www.jamesforward2.com/
  4. Sarah Mehrotra
    Mehrotra works for the Education Trust, where she advocates for increased teacher diversity and equitable school funding. She previously managed programs for the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education.
    Website: https://sarahforward2schools.com/

Vote: 1
RACE: 21

  1. Charles Boston No information available at this time. 
  2. Dontrell Smith
    Smith has worked as a substitute teacher for D.C. Public Schools. He is a federal program manager, where he reviews internal controls for over 15 departmental organizations to ensure they follow polices and guidelines established by the federal government. He is a former ANC Commissioner in Ward 7.
    Website: https://dontrellforward7.com/
  3. Eboni-Rose Thompson
    Thompson has served as the Chair of the Ward 7 Education Council since 2012. In this role, she works with educators, students, and parents advocating for Ward 7 schools and students to get the necessary resources.
    Website: https://ebonirosedc.com/
  4. Karen Williams (Incumbent)
    Williams is running for her third term. She was first elected in 2012. She is currently Chair of the State Board of Education’s Every Student Succeeds Act Task Force. She served as President of the Board in 2017 and in 2018.
    Website: http://karenwilliams.vote/

Vote: 1
RACE: 23

Markus Batchelor currently holds this office. He is running for the at-large seat on the City Council.

  1. Lajoy Johnson-Law
    Law is a disability advocate. She previously served as a Board Member of Apple Tree Early Learning Public Charter School and currently sits on the Parents Amplifying Voices in Education board.
    Website: http://www.lajoylaw2020.com/
  2. Carlene D. Reid
    Reid has worked in special education for 15 years. She’s worked as a speech therapist and has done pre-school special education evaluations at D.C. Public Schools—to determine childrens' needs for special education and other services. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
    Website: https://letsreid.com/
  3. Ryan Washington
    Washington is a native Washingtonian, raised with his four siblings in Anacostia. He wants to bring more STEM education to the ward.
    Website: https://www.washingtonfordc.com/


Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Act (Magic Mushrooms & Psychedelic Plants)
Vote: 1
RACE: 25

Initiative 81 is formally known as the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020 and has to do with magic mushrooms and psychedelic plants.

Initiative 81 seeks to make enforcement of D.C.’s drug laws against psilocybin mushrooms and psychedelic plants the police department’s lowest priority. They are currently classified as Schedule I drugs, which means they have a high likelihood of being abused and no accepted medical use. It also calls upon the city’s attorney general and the U.S. Attorney for D.C. to “cease prosecution of residents of the District of Columbia for these activities.”

Initiative 81 does NOT make it legal to use mushrooms or other psychedelics. It makes policing and prosecution of them a low priority.


(1) Make the investigation and arrest of adults for non-commercial planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, possessing, and/or engaging in practices with entheogenic plants and fungi among the Metropolitan Police Department’s lowest law enforcement priorities; and

(2) Codify that the people of the District of Columbia call upon the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia to cease prosecution of residents of the District of Columbia for these activities.