May 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Sekou Biddle|
January 2, 1999 – January 2, 2007
|Preceded by||Harry Thomas, Sr.|
|Succeeded by||Harry Thomas, Jr.|
April 11, 1957 |
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of the Pacific
Vincent Bernard Orange, Sr. (born April 11, 1957) is a politician from Washington, D.C.. Orange is an attorney and a certified public accountant. He is a member of the Council of the District of Columbia where he serves as a Democrat representing the District At-Large.
Orange was raised in Oakland, California. With a scholarship Orange attended Fountain Valley School of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He graduated from the University of the Pacific, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1979 and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 1980. In 1983, he earned a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law. He worked as a senior tax accountant for accounting firm Arthur Andersen from 1983 to 1987. In 1988, he graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned a Master of Laws in Taxation. Orange is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
1980s and 1990s
In 1981, Orange worked weekends as a security guard at The Washington Post, a position he kept for fourteen years. From 1987 to 1989, Orange worked for the District's Department of Finance and Revenue. He was manager of the District's Tax Amnesty Program, and he was acting chief of the District's Office of Real Property Tax Assessment Services Division. In 1988, he served as a United States delegate to the United States/Japan Bilateral Session: "A New Era in Legal and Economic Relations", in Tokyo, Japan. In 1990, he served as a delegate to the Moscow Conference on the Law and Bilateral Economic Relations, in Moscow, USSR.
In 1990, he ran for chair of the Council of the District of Columbia, against Democrat John A. Wilson, who was then a council member representing Ward 2. Also running for chair was Libertarian Party candidate Jacques Chevalier. Orange criticized Wilson's chairmanship of the Council's Finance and Revenue Committee, noting that the District's financial troubles happened during Wilson's eleven-year tenure. Orange advocated collecting unpaid tax bills, rather than increasing tax rates, as he said Wilson wanted to do. Wilson won the Democratic primary with 82 percent of the vote, to Orange's 18 percent.
In 1991, he was hired as acting director of internal audit for the University of the District of Columbia. The next year, Orange discovered that the university was paying a fuel supplier, Tri-Continental, for fuel it never actually received. According to the District's inspector general, over a period of eighteen months, the District had paid one-million dollars to Tri-Continental for fuel it had not received. The day after Orange released his memo naming two university administrators to be at fault, Orange's employment was terminated. The university said that Orange had been hired under an invalid contract.
After Wilson's suicide in 1993, Orange was one of seven individuals to file to run to fill the position of Council Chair. Also filing to run in the race were Ward 4 Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis and Linda Cropp. Orange did not collect enough signatures to run, and his candidacy was disqualified by the District of Columbia Board of Elections. Orange's appealed, saying that the District's requirement of filing nominating petitions with 3,000 valid signatures was onerous, but District of Columbia Court of Appeals disagreed, and Orange stayed off the ballot. Orange declared himself a write-in candidate. Clarke won the election with 47 percent of the vote; write-in votes, including those for Orange, were one percent of the total.
In 1994, Orange ran for councilmember to represent Ward 5, along with Harry Thomas, Sr. and eight other Democratic party candidates. Orange advocated banning new liquor licenses, developing Fort Lincoln, and building a new convention center at New York Avenue and Florida Avenue. Thomas won with 39 percent of the vote, compared to Orange's 17 percent.
In 1998, Orange ran again for councilmember to represent Ward 5; Harry Thomas, Sr. ran for reelection. The Washington Post's editorial board endorsed Orange's candidacy. Orange emphasized improvements to New York Avenue, improving the economy and schools, and restricting liquor licenses. Orange defeated Thomas, receiving 38 percent of the vote to Thomas' 34 percent. The Washington Post called described it as an upset victory. Orange won the general election as well with 89 percent of the vote.
In 2006, Orange ran for District mayor. During his campaign, he said he was against same-sex marriage. In September 2006, Orange lost his bid for mayor in the Democratic primary, receiving 2.9% of the vote.
In 2010, Orange announced his candidacy for Chair of District Council, challenging at-large council member Kwame Brown for the position. At the time, he was working as the Chief Financial Officer of the National Children's Center. Orange said he was now in favor of same-sex marriage, changing his position from four years earlier, saying "times change." After three credit card companies sued Brown for unpaid bills and Brown said his mortgage and other personal debt totaled around $700,000, Orange said Brown's poor handling of his personal finances should make him unfit to handle the District's finances. Orange was also critical of irregularities in Brown's financial filings for his previous two campaigns, which Brown attributed to accounting errors. Two of Orange's campaign aides resigned due to the negative tone of his campaign. The editorial board of The Washington Post endorsed Orange's candidacy. All but one of the sitting council members endorsed Brown's reelection. Brown won the Democratic primary with 55 percent of the vote, while Orange received 39 percent. Brown won in the general election as well.
When Brown resigned from his at-large council member seat, Orange lobbied the District of Columbia Democratic State Committee to be appointed as the interim to replacement on the Council, but they voted to appoint Sekou Biddle to the seat instead.
Orange was a candidate in the 2011 special election to fill the at-large seat; Biddle ran in the special election to keep the seat as well. The editorial board of The Washington Post endorsed the candidacy of Republican Patrick Mara. Orange won election with 28 percent of the vote.
In June 2011, the Washington City Paper reported that Orange received more than $100,000 of campaign contributions from Jeffrey Thompson, CEO of a health provider accused of defrauding the DC government. When council member Muriel Bowser introduced an ethics bill that would disqualify mayors and council members convicted of felonies while in office, Orange opposed the bill, saying it would create unneeded bureaucracy. Orange supported new restrictions on medical marijuana retailers and adult entertainment businesses in Northeast. Orange was in favor of using District funds to build Nationals Park.
On June 6, 2012, Federal prosecutors charged District Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown with one count of bank fraud in U.S. District Court; Brown resigned from the Council later that day. Upon Kwame R. Brown's resignation, it became the responsibility of the Council to vote to appoint one of the at-large council members to the vacant seat of Chair. Orange and Phil Mendelson both wanted to be appointed Chair. After the Council voted to appoint Mendelson the new Chair, Orange asked the Council to appoint him to Mendelson's former position of Chair pro tem. The Council voted to appoint Michael A. Brown to the position of Chair pro tem. Orange felt appointing an independent council member to a position formerly held by a Democrat was a poor idea.
In 2012, Orange ran for reelection as at-large council member, his fifth campaign in six years. Orange received $26,000 of money orders, which he called "suspicious" campaign donations, all in sequential numbers and written in the same handwriting. The money orders may have been connected to city contractor Jeffrey E. Thompson, whose home and office had been raided by the FBI and the IRS. Jeanne Clarke Harris later admitted she had run a straw donor scheme funded by Thompson. Orange won the Democratic primary with 42 percent of the vote and the subsequent general election with 38 percent of the vote. During his term in office, Orange supported a bill to increase the minimum wage to $12.60 per hour for certain large employers.
On November 8, 2013, Orange announced that he would run for mayor of the District of Columbia. His campaign slogans are "Leaving No One Behind" and "Taking No One for Granted". He supports demolishing Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and replacing it with a commercial strip, a golf course, a movie sound stage, a hotel, an indoor waterpark, and a film and photography center.
Orange serves as chair of the Committee on Government Operations. There are numerous agencies under the Committee on Government Operation's purview that play an integral role in developing the overall policy for the District of Columbia. He also sat on three standing committees: Public Services, Public Works and the Environment, and Labor, Voting Rights and Redistricting.
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- Craig, Tim (June 13, 2010). "Gays aim to retain political power; Activists eye D.C. elections Marriage-law victory energizes agenda". The Washington Post. p. C1.
- "Pepco Names Vincent Orange D.C. Region Vice President" (press release). Pepco. February 1, 2007.
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- "For D.C. Council chairman; Vincent Orange is the best qualified candidate to face the city's challenges" (editorial). The Washington Post. August 9, 2010. p. A12.
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- Suderman, Alan (June 1, 2011). "Medicaid Malpractice". Washington City Paper.
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- Suderman, Alan (March 13, 2012). "VO and Those "Suspicious" Money Orders". Washington City Paper.
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- "Presidential/Council Primary Official Results: Summary Report". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. April 19, 2012.
- "D.C. General and Special Election". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. November 29, 2012.
- Sommer, Will (July 12, 2013). "Watch: Vincent Orange vs. Fox News". Washington City Paper.
- DeBonis, Mike (November 8, 2013). "Vincent Orange is running for mayor". The Washington Post.
- Sommer, Will (January 29, 2014). "Vincent Orange Launches Hefty Mailing Campaign". Washington City Paper.
- Sommer, Will (December 23, 2013). "The 5 Strangest Parts of Vincent Orange's RFK Stadium Plan". Washington City Paper.
- Koncius, Jura (April 20, 2006). "The House of Orange". The Washington Post.
|Council of the District of Columbia|
Harry Thomas, Sr.
|Member of the Council of the District of Columbia
from Ward 5
Harry Thomas, Jr.
|Member Council of the District of Columbia