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Voters' Answers: 8. Anti-Ping-Pong Crusader Is Out

Question #8: Will voters in the northwest Washington neighborhood where Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Frank Winstead crusades against sidewalk ping-pong tables, benches and double-parked delivery trucks rise up and take a stand for street life?

Yes, in a big way. Voters in the Forest Hills section of upper Northwest Washington swept Winstead out of office, giving challenger Tom Whitley a 73 percent to 25 percent victory over the man who was offended by the sight of people enjoying a game of ping-pong on a public sidewalk.

In other ANC races around the city, voters repeatedly--but with some big exceptions--sent the message that they crave more aggressive efforts to boost density, enhance street life, expand the tax base and put an end to political domination by small clusters of residents who loudly proclaim their desire to live in a more suburban setting.

In Cleveland Park, where the redevelopment of a 1950s Giant supermarket and its surrounding site has been paralyzed for many years by neighborhood concerns about parking and congestion, two new members of the ANC will create a majority on that commission in favor of getting that long-promised complex off the ground.

In Shaw, longtime commissioner Leroy Thorpe, a tireless voice against gentrification and a frequent antagonist of gay activists in the fast-changing neighborhood, failed to regain the seat he lost two years ago, losing to commissioner Kevin Chapple by 53-46. As City Paper's Mike DeBonis explains, that's just a piece of a larger shift in that ANC, in which Thorpe's allies lose control of the commission to a group that has long criticized Thorpe for turning the commission into a personal fiefdom.

In Foxhall, incumbent Betsy Sandza narrowly beat Kent Slowinski, a longtime advocate for protecting the area's green space from housing and school developments.

In Tenleytown, pro-growth candidate Jonathan Bender--who told the Northwest Current paper that he's opposed to the current commission's reflexive opposition to any development that exceeds what builders can put up as a matter of right--beat Joe Carlson, who described himself as opposed to overdevelopment, by 56 percent to 43 percent.

But just a few blocks from there, in Chevy Chase D.C., incumbent Lucy Eldridge beat back a challenge by Tom Quinn, a leader of Ward 3 Vision, a group that pushes for more smart growth development in the upper Wisconsin Avenue corridor.

And in a coda to the neighborhood's recent vote against declaring Chevy Chase a historic district, a current neighborhood commissioner and a former commissioner who were associated with the campaign in favor of a historic designation were defeated yesterday. Commissioner Cris Fromboluti lost to Henry Griffin, an opponent of the historic district proposal; and ex-commissioner Mary Rowse, a leader of the Historic Chevy Chase movement, was defeated by David Engel, who opposed the designation.

As always, a great many of the ANC seats around the city, especially in less affluent parts of the District, were uncontested, and too many seats attracted no candidate at all.

By Marc Fisher |  November 5, 2008; 2:55 PM ET
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Comments

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marc: even though a lot of seats drew no candidate on the ballot, only one drew no votes overall—the SMD for the jail.

so there will be representation out there. just a little sloppier than you might have expected, that's all.

Posted by: IMGoph | November 5, 2008 5:08 PM

Wahoo! The Mary Rowse-Carolyn Sherman axis of NIMBYness has fallen. But Rowse still controls the ChevyChase listserve so she can muzzle dissent online.

Posted by: Jenny6 | November 5, 2008 9:08 PM

In 5C12, the headache known as Derrick Holloway lost his bid for re-election.

Yeah, the challenger who beat him doesn't look like a great improvement, but I doubt I'd find her threatening the local liquor store owners with removal of their liquor license because they forced him to pay part of his tab.

Yay for our part of Brookland.

Posted by: scorbett1976@hotmail.com | November 6, 2008 2:11 PM

Unfortunately, in the Columbia Heights area of DC, well-known listserv spammer William Jordan has won an ANC seat in an unopposed election. He is noted, as "Monkeyrotica" described, for race-baiting and "tinfoilhattery" on blogs and message boards all over Ward 1. He is anti-development and opposes just about any new restaurant or bar, and is a well-known opponent of the new wine bar coming to 11th Street NW. He likes to keep the density and street activity low, preferring the vacant lots of the post-riot years to the vibrant streetscapes of today. Not good!

Posted by: MrTinDC | November 6, 2008 5:03 PM

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