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Republican DeMartino plans run against Wells in D.C. council race

In the first of several expected announcements from Republicans hoping to break the Democratic Party's grip on the D.C. Council, Jim DeMartino says he will file Friday afternoon to challenge Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) in the November election.

A lawyer and former Marine Corps officer, De Martino is currently a contract military analyst for the Navy Department. DeMartino, who lives near Nationals Park, is also on the board of directors at Capitol Hill Tower and the D.C. Cooperative Housing Council.

He is closely aligned with Will Cobb, the independent candidate whom Wells defeated by a margin of 3 to 1 in the 2006 general election.

"As former military officers, Jim and Will became friends and worked hard to get Will elected," DeMartino said in his campaign biography. "Going door to door in the summer months for Will's campaign, Jim learned the importance of public service once again."

DeMartino said he plans to run against Wells, who will also likely face a challenger in the September Democratic primary, because he wants to improve education in the city. DeMartino supports Chancellor Michelle Rhee and vows to fight to expand charter schools and protect the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

DeMartino will likely face an uphill challenge in the general election. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Ward 6, which centers on Capitol Hill, by about 8 to 1.

Still, DeMartino's candidacy shows Republicans plan to field a slate of candidates this fall to take on the Democratic incumbents.

The council currently consists of 11 Democrats and two independents, including at-large member Michael Brown, who was a Democrat before he sought his council seat in 2008.

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  March 12, 2010; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  GOP , D.C. Council , Tim Craig  
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Comments

I sincerely hope, with as poorly as DC is currently being run, that party affiliation becomes irrelevant in the next election.

Posted by: missboo | March 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a huge Wells fan (first insane parking restrictions, then bag tax, and now chicken legislation... whatever Tommy) so I say good luck military dude. Hope you can get gay and black votes... you'll need to do so in order to win Ward 6.

Posted by: caseythekid | March 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Why bother? DC is a cesspool. You don't clean a cesspool, you fill it in and pave it over.

Posted by: corrections | March 12, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Well wishes to this Marine. Unfortunately, the D.C. Council and the DC government are socialistic entities that have brainwashed the populace into believing that their ill-fated ideas are the only way for DC to succeed. What a shame; these notions and the Democrat majority will always keep DC from being a world class city.

Posted by: civilrightist | March 12, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with @civilrightist, this government has gone crazy. They really think that they speak for all DC citizens, as if we all are ignorant, or poor. I hope you defeat Tommy-Boy.

Posted by: fivetogo | March 12, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Wells gets things done for his constituents. Whenever we run into problems with DCRA or DDOT, one e-mail to his staff, and it's fixed the next day. No way he's losing to anyone.

Posted by: comesthesun2 | March 12, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I live in Tommy Well's district and despite the fact that he responded to emails of praise from me on two issues, completely ignored my calls for help with trying to get the lead water line in front of my house replaced. I wasn't asking for him to dig the trench, just to locate the legislation so I could speak knowledgeably to DCWASA. He ignored two emails sent a couple months apart. It's now been six months and I'm no closer to getting the pipes replaced than I was before.

Apparently the middle class families moving back to the district and helping to "revitalize" H St don't count for much.

Posted by: FormerMCPSStudent | March 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I am a Ward 6 African-American, Independent voter, who would love to have a sit down conversation with Jim DeMartino (R) because Mr. Wells is VERY non-responsive to many of the Ward 6 voters. He could have a very good chance but he would have to convince the black voter that he is not the "stereotypical" Republican. He "must know" that his party has not been looked upon favorably as a party of inclusion for minorities or the poor or working poor. He would have to truly come out and I mean NOW. I would like for him to join in with the Rosedale residents to ensure that our new Recreation Center/Library is done cost effectively and as specified by the residents. I would also challenge him to get involved in the debate surrounding Eastern Senior High School, the ONLY DCPS high school in this ward. He needs to get out and get involved. I am very involved in my neighborhood and community and I have NOT seen Mr. DeMartino at any of these meetings that I attend them regularly and I am involved and invested in my Ward 6 community.

Posted by: lacairaine | March 18, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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