The closeness of the At-Large race in DC’s extremely-early primary seems to be generating some sore feelings, but before anyone gets too locked in to their positions over this let me just reiterate a long-held belief: DC’s local elections should be non-partisan. There is simply no reason that lopsided partisan identifications, which track extremely poorly onto the local issues that matter to the District, should exclude anyone from selecting who represents them. Choosing to either be a member of the party that best represents your politics or being a member of the party that effectively selects the winner is a Sophie’s Choice and we shouldn’t force it on anybody. Especially in a city where so many government employees, banned from engaging in many ways in partisan politics, make their home, there is simply no reason we should have partisan elections for DC’s Mayor or Council. None. At all. Whatsoever. Also, we should have IRV or run-offs on top of that. But we could do a lot of good by letting individuals who want to hold these jobs run on their personal qualifications and their knowledge of and position on the important issues in the District. Whether they’re Democratic, Republican, Indepdenent or Green should have exactly zero bearing.

In pratice, I’m sure you’d see ad hoc coalitions and perhaps even local parties of a sort emerge, but the electoral process itself should be resolutely non-partisan.

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