Brandon Todd (politician)

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Brandon Todd
Brandon Todd official.jpg
Member of the Council of the District of Columbia from Ward 4
Assumed office
May 14, 2015
Preceded byMuriel Bowser
Personal details
Born (1983-05-26) May 26, 1983 (age 35)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materBowie State University
Trinity Washington University

Brandon Tristan Todd (born May 26, 1983) is a Democratic politician who represents Ward 4 on the Council of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. Todd previously worked in the Council office of Muriel Bowser and in various campaign positions during her successful campaign for Mayor of the District of Columbia. Todd won a special election on May 2015, succeeding Muriel Bowser, who was elected as mayor. Todd was sworn into office on May 14, 2015, and served the remainder of Bowser's term. He won the June 2016 Democratic primary and the November 2016 general election for the position.

Early life and education[edit]

Todd was born on May 26, 1983,[1] and raised in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Eastern High School and has a communications degree from Bowie State University and a Master in Business Administration from Trinity Washington University.[2][3] In 2005, while in college, Todd declared bankruptcy for more than $20,000 in unpaid debts. His creditors were primarily credit card companies, with charges from clothing retailers.[4]

Todd joined the Democratic Party in October 2007 after voting in five elections as a member of the Republican Party.[5]

Pre-Council Career[edit]

In 2012, Todd managed Bowser's campaign for reelection as Ward 4 Councilmember.[2] He served as Bowser's director of constituent services.[2] In the same year, Todd was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention representing wards 3, 4, 5, and 7.[6]

In March 2013, Todd coordinated a construction job fair for workers skilled in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, concrete, rough carpentry, masonry, roofing, and waterproofing in Fort Totten Square.[7]

On June 5, 2013, Todd was elected chair of the Ward 4 Democrats.[8] He launched a new web site and Twitter account for the organization.[3] In 2014, he was Finance Director for Bowser's mayoral campaign.[2][3]

Electoral history[edit]

2014 special election[edit]

On December 4, 2014, Todd announced his candidacy for councilmember for Ward 4 after the position was vacated when Bowser was elected mayor.[2] Within three days of his announcement, Todd had raised $50,000.[9] In the final campaign finance filing before the election, Todd had three times the financial reserves of his nearest rival.[10] Todd accepted donations from LLCs owned by companies, which allowed companies to donate additional money to the campaign.[11][12]

Todd advertised his close relationship with the mayor, saying he was the only candidate in the field who would be able to pick up the phone and discuss the ward's needs directly with her.[13] At a debate, it was reported that Todd searched on Google when asked to name a historical figure whose leadership he admired. His campaign had no comment on the action.[14][15] Todd won with 42% of the vote.[13][16]

2016 general election[edit]

Todd speaking in 2017

In the June 14, 2016 D.C Council Ward 4 Democratic primary election, Todd won with 49% of the vote.[17] He received the endorsements of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Democrats for Education Reform,[18] and The Washington Post.[19] Todd won reelection for a full four-year term in the general election on November 8, 2016.[20] He garnered 35,100 votes.[21]

Council terms[edit]

First (partial) council term[edit]

During his campaign, Todd said that he opposed awarding the operation of DC's prisons to a controversial private management company.[14] After his election, Todd said that the Council should not be involved in awarding the contract.[22]

While campaigning, Todd was one of the few candidates who did not oppose pop-ups, or housing extensions above the original height.[23] After winning office and in the wake of community protests, he said he was "not outright opposed to pop-ups but that he wanted to find a balance between new housing units and neighbors' concerns." [24]

In 2016, amid community opposition Todd announced his support for Mayor Bowser's plan to open a homeless shelter in Ward 4, hoping that it would be used as a catalyst for economic development.[25][26]

After a building was condemned in Ward 4 and its residents forced to vacate the property, Todd was described as not helpful. A spokesperson for Todd said he was aware of the condemnation.[27]

In April 2017, the DC Auditor announced that it was conducting an investigation into the financing of Todd's 2015 special election campaign. As a result, Todd was fined $5,100 dollars by the office of campaign finance,[28] which he paid in-full.[29] Todd was unable to substantiate donations of over $100,000 and failed to report $34,000 in donations. While the investigation was underway during the 2016 general election, it was not disclosed.[30]

On November, 2017, Todd supported legislation that would jump-start economic development and revitalization along the Kennedy Street Corridor.[31]

Second council term[edit]

Todd was sworn into office for a full four-year council term at noon on January 2, 2017.[32]

On January 20, 2017, Todd joined Councilmembers Jack Evans and Anita Bonds, as well as Mayor Muriel Bowser at the parade for the inauguration of Donald Trump, saying “It’s important that we get to know the Trump administration and they get to know the District. And the first step in that is being here for a peaceful transition of power.” [33][34]

Todd supported the modernization of West Elementary School during the Fiscal Year 2018 budget negotiations.[35][36]

When anti-immigrant flyers were spread around Ward 4, Todd stated that "Xenophobic and hostile flyers will not be tolerated. All residents, regardless of race, color, creed, religious affiliation or sexual preference, deserve to feel safe and respected in their community."[37]

On September 19, 2017, Todd introduced the “Universal Free Lunch for All Amendment Act of 2017,” which would provide lunch for all students in District of Columbia public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools free of charge.[38][39]

On October 3, 2017, Todd helped secure passage of the “Standard of Care for Animals Amendment Act of 2017,” a comprehensive animal welfare bill to protect the health and safety of District animals.[40]

On December 4, 2017, Todd Introduced a bill to strengthen identity theft protections for children and eliminate credit freeze fees for all District residents. The “Identity Protection Amendment Act of 2017” would enable a parent or guardian of a child to place a credit freeze on their behalf. The legislation was developed in concert with the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, (OAG). It builds on similar emergency legislation introduced by OAG and temporarily passed into law after the Equifax data breach.[41]

On December 5, 2017, Todd secured passage of his “Office on African American Affairs Establishment Act of 2017,” legislatively creating an office with grant-making authority to develop, implement, and support policies and programs for African American advancement in the District of Columbia.[42]

Todd introduced legislation that would create an Office of Nightlife to act as a liaison between government, community leaders and business owners to ensure that all residents benefit from the proliferation of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues in the nation's capitol in recent years.[43] The bill received support from both the business community and community leaders.[44]

Todd was active in responding to widespread reports from Ward 4 residents about Metro trains vibrating their homes. He sent three separate letters to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager over the course of a year to solicit more information and ask for expedited progress.[45]

Todd supported campaign finance reform by voting in favor of the "Fair Elections Act of 2017".[46]

In 2018, Todd was the sole Councilmember who opposed providing subpoena power to the Committee on Health to investigate Veritas, a politically connected DC contractor charged with management of the United Medical Center.[47] Concerns about patient safety and charges of mismanagement at UMC prompted the inquiry. The CEO of Veritas donated $6,000 to Brandon Todd's campaign.[48]

Campaign finance controversy[edit]

As a result of an audit of his 2015 campaign in April 2017, Todd was fined $5,100 dollars by the Office of Campaign Finance,[28] which he paid in-full.[29]

After Todd's 2015 special election win, the District government's Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) audited the Todd campaign as part of its regular after-election audit of all campaigns. The audit, completed in early January 2016, discovered that the campaign failed to report more than $34,000 in contributions. The campaign also received more than $69,000 in contributions for which it had no records indicating who made the donation. For reasons which remain unclear, the OCF agreed to keep its preliminary audit confidential until the 2015 Todd special election campaign answered the report's allegations. According to the OCF, the 2015 Todd campaign repeatedly declined to provide it with the information and answers it sought, even as Todd campaigned for a full, four-year term on the council during a hotly contest June 14, 2016, Democratic primary. Todd's 2015 campaign staff said they provided all the information the OCF asked for, but the OCF's "antiquated" technology was unable to accept or integrate the information.[49] OCF found the campaign failed to adequately document another $100,000 in contributions.[50]

Todd won the June 14 primary with 49 percent of the vote, without voters knowing about the report's preliminary findings. His closest challenger, Leon T. Andrews, Jr., had 40.8 percent. Todd was unopposed in the general election. Once more, voters remained in the dark about the report's finding.[49]

On April 7, 2017, about 16 months after the preliminary report was issued, The Washington Post made the report's draft findings public.[49]

The Washington Post reported on April 17, 2017 that 136 contributors to Todd's 2016 reelection campaign could not be identified by name. The donors contributed about $18,000 to the 2016 effort. Another 1,200 of the 1,400 contributors to the campaign provided no employer information, as required by law. OCF had previously identified more than $7,000 in contributions to Todd's 2016 campaign which were illegal or questionable under D.C. campaign finance laws, and the Todd campaign returned those donations. However, About $5,000 in donations were over the legal limit of $500 per individual or business. The 2016 reelection campaign accepted these donations, and did not return them. OCF officials said they had previously identified numerous questionable donations and expenditures by the Todd 2016 reelection campaign, but many of these had been resolved and the agency was still in the process of obtaining more information.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Todd lives in the Petworth neighborhood of Ward 4 and attends St. Mary's Episcopal Church.[51] He is single.[14]


Todd serves on the following committees:[52]

  • Chair — Committee on Government Operations
  • Committee of the Whole
  • Committee on Human Services
  • Committee on Transportation and the Environment
  • Committee on Health

Election results[edit]


2015 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Special election[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brandon Todd 4,584 43
Democratic Renee L. Bowser 2,311 21
Democratic Leon T. Andrews, Jr. 1,613 15
Democratic Dwayne M. Toliver 1,297 12
Democratic Ron Austin 185 2
Democratic Edwin W. Powell 132 1
Democratic Judi Jones 119 1
Democratic Acqunetta Anderson 117 1
Democratic Bobvala Tengen 91 1
Democratic Gwenellen Corley-Bowman 73 1
Democratic Douglass Sloan 55 1
Socialist Workers Glova Scott 53 0
Democratic Pedro Rubio, Jr. 37 0
Democratic Write-in 38 0


2016 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Democratic Primary[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brandon Todd 8,145 49.33
Democratic Leon T. Andrews, Jr. 6,738 40.81
Democratic Ron Austin 574 3.48
Democratic Calvin H. Gurley 509 3.08
2016 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, General Election[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brandon Todd 35,100 85.5
  Write-in 1,813 4.42


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  3. ^ a b c Aaron C. Davis and Abigail Hauslohner (June 4, 2014). "Person To Watch: Brandon Todd". Capital News. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  4. ^ Will Sommer (February 19, 2014). "Leading Ward 4 Candidate Filed for Bankruptcy in 2005 Over Debts to J. Crew, Nordstrom, Others". Washington City Paper. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  5. ^ Will Sommer (February 24, 2015). "Ward 4 Opponent Hits Brandon Todd on Republican Past, Residency". Washington City Paper. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  6. ^ Wright, James (March 22, 2012). "D.C. Political Roundup". Washington Informer. p. 5.
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  11. ^ Will Sommer (February 11, 2015). "Premium Rush: Bowser Picks Grab Campaign Cash Before Loophole Closes". Washington City Paper. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
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  15. ^ Ben Mathis-Lilley (April 24, 2014). "Politician Caught Googling "Historical Figure" After Being Asked to Name Admired Historical Figure". Slate. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  16. ^ "Ward 8 Special Election Too Close to Call". Capital News. April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Amanda Lacone (June 14, 2016). "D.C. voters oust 3 Council members". WTOP. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  18. ^ Lou Chibbaro Jr (May 10, 2016). "Gray wins Stein club endorsement". Washington Blade. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  19. ^ Editorial Board (May 27, 2016). "For D.C. Council". Washington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  20. ^ Aaron Davis (June 15, 2015). "Vincent Gray wins D.C. Council seat, makes political comeback". Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  21. ^ [1]District of Columbia Board of Elections. Nov 18, 2016.
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  24. ^ MIKE CONNEEN (May 26, 2015). "D.C. residents hold rally to protest 'pop-up' houses". ABC News. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  25. ^ City Desk (February 14, 2016). "D.C. General Closure: City Officials Hold Meetings in All Eight Wards". Washington Times. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  26. ^ Ryan M. McDermott (February 16, 2016). "D.C. mayor's homeless shelter plan lacks transparency, critics say". Washington Times. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  27. ^ Will Sommer (March 10, 2016). "Forced Exit Looms for Tenants in Condemned Building". Washington City Paper. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
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  35. ^ Lieberman, Mark. "Modernizations move forward at West, Eaton schools | Current Newspapers". Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  36. ^ "Councilmember's Corner: "The 2018 budget is a win for Petworth"". Petworth News. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  37. ^ "Ward 4 Residents Report Bigoted Flyers To Police". DCist. Archived from the original on 2018-03-16. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  38. ^ "All DC students would receive free lunch under new bill". WTOP. 2017-09-22. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
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  40. ^ "DC Council Passes Standard of Care for Animals Amendment Act of 2017". Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  41. ^ "Capital Wire PR". Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  42. ^ AFRO, Special to the (2017-12-14). "Todd Authors Bill to Preserve Black Culture in D.C. | Afro". Afro. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
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  45. ^ Powers, Martine (2017-12-18). "Are Metro's new trains causing Petworth vibrations? Mostly not, consultants say". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  46. ^ "D.C. Council Moves Forward Transformative Fair Elections Bill in Unanimous 13-0 Vote | U.S. PIRG". Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  47. ^ Reed, Tina (Mar 15, 2018). "D.C. Council panel gets subpoena power to investigate former hospital contractor". Washington Business Journal. Washington DC. Retrieved Mar 15, 2018.
  48. ^ Jamison, Peter (Mar 14, 2018). "D.C. Council approves subpoenas for public hospital's former consultants". Washington Post. Washington DC. Retrieved Mar 14, 2018.
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  50. ^ a b Davis, Aaron C. (April 16, 2017). "More contributions to D.C. Council member cannot be tracked to source". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  51. ^ "Councilmember Brandon T. Todd". Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  52. ^ "Councilmember Brandon T. Todd". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  53. ^ "Special Election for Ward 4 and Ward 8 Members of the Council". District of Columbia Board of Elections. May 14, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2017; "List of Candidates in Ballot Order in the April 28, 2015 Ward 4 and Ward 8 Members of the Council Special Election" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections. April 14, 2015.
  54. ^ "Primary Election 2016 - Certified Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-10-08. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  55. ^ "General Election 2016 - Certified Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections. November 18, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Council of the District of Columbia
Preceded by
Muriel Bowser
Ward 4 Member, Council of the District of Columbia