Two days after tentatively deciding not to hold a vote for an endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and three Democratic D.C. Council candidates, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club on Wednesday reversed course and will “move forward” with an electronic endorsement vote on those candidates, according to Stein Club President Kent Boese.
The club’s members became deadlocked at its Sept. 28 virtual meeting over an initial proposal to hold a membership vote on the endorsement of all Democratic candidates on the city’s Nov. 3 election ballot, including Biden, that the club did not endorse at the time of the D.C. Democratic primary in June.
But the proposal was dropped after several members raised strong objections to endorsing Ward 2 Democratic candidate and incumbent Council member Brooke Pinto because she is being challenged by gay Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Randy Downs, who’s running as an independent and who has the support of a number of Stein Club members.
Club members said the club is overwhelmingly supportive of Biden and the holdup on his endorsement was strictly procedural.
“I have had the opportunity to communicate with each member of the Gertrude Stein Board,” Boese told the Blade in an email on Wednesday. “We understand the importance and responsibility of being both a Democratic club and an affiliate of the D.C. Democratic State Committee,” Boese said.
“Upon reviewing our bylaws, we see no reason not to move forward with an electronic vote for each of the Democrats on the November ballot that have not been previously endorsed by the Stein Club,” Boese said. He said he expected the vote to take place “in a day or two” with a quick tally of the vote count.
The club’s decision to move ahead with an endorsement vote came shortly after news surfaced that the D.C. Democratic State Committee, which serves as D.C.’s Democratic Party governing body, might consider penalizing the Stein Club for violating rules requiring affiliated Democratic clubs to support the party’s candidates.
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