Facing almost certain expulsion from the DC Council, Jack Evans submitted his resignation yesterday. It will be effective as of January 17th.
This brings to an end a remarkable downfall of one of DC’s most powerful–and certainly most long lasting–politicians. And the lion’s share of the credit for this turn of events is Jeffrey Anderson of the District Dig. Long before the Washington Post was on the scene–or even the FBI raiding Evans house–Anderson was raising difficult questions about Evans’ relationship to a variety of parties trying to do business with the District government.
As GM wrote last June, Evans’ last act of public service should be for him to walk away. It took a bit longer for him to realize this than it ought to have, but Evans finally took that step yesterday. It prevented the distinct shame of becoming the first Councilmember ever expelled from the Council. But by waiting this long, he eliminated all doubt that that’s how it would have otherwise ended.
Ward 2 will be without a Councilmember for only a few months. There will be a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the current term (which ends next January). The party primaries for the seat was already scheduled for June and it is likely that the Board of Elections would simply schedule the special election for the same day. This will lead to a bit of confusion, since all voters would be eligible to vote in the special election but only registered Democratic voters in the Democratic primary. And theoretically due to that split, different candidates might win each election. But given the high percentage of voters likely being Democrats, that outcome is unlikely.
A final wildcard was suggested in the Post’s article: namely that even after resigning, Evans could nonetheless also run in the special election and the primary. It would be a gamble that even a disgraced politician could beat a crowded field. Let’s all hope it’s a gamble he doesn’t take.