Kenyan McDuffie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie Official Photo

Kenyan R. McDuffie (born c. 1975) is a Democratic politician in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Council of the District of Columbia representing Ward 5.

Early life[edit]

McDuffie grew up in Stronghold, a neighborhood in Ward 5 in Washington, D.C.[1] After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School, he sold ice cream at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. and briefly attended the University of the District of Columbia.[2] He later worked for the United States Postal Service, delivering mail in the Friendship Heights and Spring Valley neighborhoods.[2]

After four years with the Postal Service, McDuffie enrolled in the University of the District of Columbia before graduating from Howard University with a bachelors degree in political science and community development[3] in 2002.[4] He received a juris doctorate from University of Maryland School of Law[5] in 2006.[4]

Following his graduation, he was hired by Prince George's County, Maryland, first working as a law clerk and later as an assistant state’s attorney.[5] McDuffie later worked as an aide to Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.[6] In 2008, he served as a trial lawyer in the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.[1][5] In 2010, McDuffie became a public safety adviser to Mayor Vincent C. Gray,[5][7] serving as a liaison to public safety agencies.[8] He has also served as president of the Stronghold Civic Association.[9]

Political career[edit]

2010 election[edit]

In February 2010, McDuffie resigned from his position in the mayor's administration[10] and declared his candidacy to represent Ward 5 on the Council of the District of Columbia.[1] McDuffie supported expanding employment opportunities and tackling HIV.[6] He criticized incumbent Harry Thomas Jr. for being reactive rather than proactive.[6] During his campaign, McDuffie stressed several urgent problems in the ward, including lack of quality education, lack of effective job-training programs, lack of affordable housing, and a need for more services for senior citizens.[11] Thomas won the Democratic Party primary election[12] and went on to win the general election as well.[13]

2012 election[edit]

In January 2012, Thomas resigned from the Council and pleaded guilty to two federal crimes, theft and filing three years of false tax returns.[14] McDuffie confirmed that he would run in a special election to fill the vacancy represent Ward 5 in the Council.[15]

McDuffie said that programs such as affordable housing should receive additional funding before other programs such as establishing a streetcar system and expanding the Capital Bikeshare program.[16] McDuffie supported community-oriented, responsible and sustainable development.[16] He was in favor of the District's program providing health insurance coverage to residents, regardless of legal status in the country, who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to be able to afford private insurance.[16] McDuffie believed the District's summer-jobs program should be changed so that only teenagers from low-income families would be eligible.[16] He did not support requiring some charter schools in Ward 5 to have a neighborhood admissions preference to assure some seats to local residents because it would restrict the schools' flexibility.[16]

Councilmember Tommy Wells endorsed McDuffie for his progressive agenda and emphasis on good government.[17] The District's firefighter union, the Service Employees International Union Maryland and DC State Council, the National Nurses United union, the Local 25 Hospitality Workers' Union, the AFL-CIO, the DC Latino Caucus, and the Gertrude Stein Club also endorsed McDuffie's candidacy.[17][18][19][20] Meanwhile, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 20 endorsed Delano Hunter, and The Washington Post endorsed Tim Day.[21]

McDuffie won the special election,[22] receiving 43 percent of the votes.[23] His term will end in 2014.[24]

2014 election[edit]

McDuffie ran for reelection in the 2014 election[25] and was re-elected securing 78% of the vote

Other candidates running in the Democratic Party primary were Kathy Henderson, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Carver Langston;[26] and Carolyn C. Steptoe, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Brookland.[27] Libertarian Preston Cornish is the only candidate opposing Kenyan McDuffie in the general election.[28][29]

Personal life[edit]

McDuffie lives on North Capitol Street with his wife, Princess, and his daughters, Jozi and Kesi.[30]

Election history[edit]

2010 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 5, Democratic Party Primary Election[31]

Harry Tommy Thomas Jr. (D) 62%
Delano Hunter (D) 19%
Kenyan McDuffie (D) 15%
Tracey D. Turner (D) 4%
Write-in 0%

2012 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 5, Special Election[32]

Kenyan McDuffie (D) 43%
Delano Hunter (D) 21%
Frank Wilds (D) 14%
Tim Day (R) 6%
Ron L. Magnus (D) 4%
Shelly Gardner (D) 3%
Kathy Henderson (D) 2%
Drew E. Hubbard (D) 2%
Rae Zapata (D) 2%
Ruth E. Marshall (D) 1%
John C. Cheeks (I) 0%
Amanda Broadnax (D) 0%
Write-in 0%

2014 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 5, Primary Election[33]

Kenyan McDuffie (D) 78.36%
Kathy Henderson (D) 14.98%
Carolyn C. Steptoe (D) 6.21%
Write-in 0.56%


  1. ^ a b c Abrams, Amanda (June 26, 2010). "Where We Live: The Stronghold neighborhood of Northeast Washington". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ a b "A New Councilman for D.C.'s Ward 5". The Kojo Nnamdi Show (WAMU-FM). May 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Kenyan McDuffie". Legal Information Institute (Cornell University Law School). Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Suderman, Alan (May 23, 2012). "The Thomas Antidote". Washington City Paper. 
  5. ^ a b c d Craig, Tim; DeBonis, Mike (May 15, 2012). "Kenyan McDuffie wins Ward 5 seat on D.C. Council in race to replace Thomas". The Washington Post. 
  6. ^ a b c Marimow, Ann E. (August 11, 2010). "Harry Thomas Jr.'s challengers say deep roots aren't enough in D.C. Council's Ward 5 race". The Washington Post. 
  7. ^ DeBonis, Mike (April 29, 2012). "Council candidates try to reassure Ward 5 voters". The Washington Post. 
  8. ^ Howell Jr., Tom (May 16, 2012). "Gray: McDuffie ‘an outstanding choice’ for Ward 5". The Washington Times. 
  9. ^ Salmon, Barrington M. (March 29, 2012). "'Tenacity' Puts Hunter Back into Council Race". The Washington Informer. 
  10. ^ Howell Jr., Tom; Noble, Andrea (May 15, 2012). "McDuffie wins Ward 5 D.C. Council seat handily". The Washington Times. 
  11. ^ "2010 Election: Kenyan McDuffie". The Washington Post. 2010. 
  12. ^ "Primary Election 2010 Certified Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. September 29, 2010. 
  13. ^ "General Election 2010 Certified Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. November 19, 2010. 
  14. ^ DeBonis, Mike (January 5, 2012). "Harry Thomas Jr. charged: What happens next". The Washington Post. 
  15. ^ DeBonis, Mike (January 6, 2012). "The Ward 5 special election contenders". The Washington Post. 
  16. ^ a b c d e Craig, Tim (May 12, 2012). "Ward 5 candidates' views on transportation, safety, development". The Washington Post. 
  17. ^ a b Craig, Tim (May 9, 2012). "Special council election comes at an anxious time for D.C.’s Ward 5". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ Howell Jr., Tom (April 11, 2012). "Separating from pack in Ward 5 race tough". The Washington Times. 
  19. ^ Chibbaro Jr., Lou (April 22, 2012). "Stein Club endorses McDuffie in Ward 5 Council race". Washington Blade. 
  20. ^ "The DC Latino Caucus PAC Announces Support of Kenyan McDuffie for Ward 5 Councilmember" (pdf) (Press release). May 11, 2012. 
  21. ^ Salmon, Barrington M.; Wright, James (May 16, 2012). "McDuffie Grabs Ward 5 Seat". Washington Informer. 
  22. ^ Chibbaro Jr., Lou (May 16, 2012). "McDuffie wins Ward 5 Council race". Washington Blade. 
  23. ^ "Unofficial Election Results: District of Columbia Special Election May 15, 2012". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Voters in DC to choose new councilmember to replace convicted embezzler Harry Thomas Jr.". The Washington Post. Associated Press. May 15, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Candidates - April 1, 2014 Primary Election" (pdf). District of Columbia Board of Elections. January 2, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5D". District of Columbia Board of Elections. Archived from the original on February 16, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  27. ^ DeBonis, Mike (January 27, 2014). "Has Kenyan McDuffie brought fractious Ward 5 together at last?". The Washington Post. 
  28. ^ "Preston Cornish". Libertarian Party. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Preston Cornish". Twitter. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Kenyan McDuffie Enters Race for Ward 5 Seat". The Capital News. February 2012. p. 3. 
  31. ^ "Primary Election 2010 Certified Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics. September 29, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Unofficial Election Results: District of Columbia Special Election May 15, 2012". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  33. ^ "City-Wide Registration and Turnout". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. Retrieved Apr 25, 2014. 
Council of the District of Columbia
Preceded by
Harry Thomas, Jr.
Ward 5 Member, Council of the District of Columbia
2012 – present