Charles Allen (D.C. politician)

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Charles Allen
Charles Allen.jpg
Member of the Council of the District of Columbia from Ward 6
Assumed office
January 2, 2015
Preceded byTommy Wells
Personal details
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materWashington and Lee University,
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Charles Allen is a Democratic politician in Washington, D.C. and member of the Council of the District of Columbia representing Ward 6. He took office on January 2, 2015 after winning the Democratic Party primary and following general election in 2014.

Early years and education[edit]

Charles Allen grew up in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama.[1] He graduated from Homewood High School.[2] Allen is married to Jordi Hutchinson. The couple has a daughter and a son.[3]

Allen graduated from Washington and Lee University.[4] The summer after his sophomore year, he interned at a free clinic in South Boston.[1] He earned a master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.[4]

Political career[edit]

Allen was hired as director of public policy for the District of Columbia Primary Care Association in 2003.[2] The following year, Allen served as the Ward 6 coordinator for Howard Dean's presidential campaign.[5] He was a delegate for Dean at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.[5] As chairman of the grass roots Democratic organization D.C. for Democracy, Allen sent hundreds of District residents to other states to campaign.[2]

Allen resigned from the District of Columbia Primary Care Association to manage Tommy Wells' campaign for the Ward 6 seat on the Council of the District of Columbia in 2006.[2] After Wells won the election, Wells hired Allen as his chief of staff.[6]

Allen was president of the Ward 6 Democrats from 2009[7] to 2013.[8] While president, the group voted to urge the Council of the District of Columbia to pass a law legalizing same-sex marriage.[7]

In 2012, the D.C. Democratic State Committee chose the person to replace Phil Mendelson as at-large council member for 70 days before a special election was held.[9] Allen was opposed to the process, saying that only the voters should choose the replacement for an at-large vacancy, not a small group of party committee members.[9]

2014 election[edit]

Allen was the chief of staff of Ward 6 Council Member Tommy Wells.[10] After Wells decided not to run for reelection in order to run for mayor, Allen resigned from his position and announced his candidacy to succeed Wells seat in the Council representing Ward 6.[10] Darrel Thompson, a former deputy chief of staff of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also ran in the Democratic primary.[11] Pranav Badhwar ran in the Libertarian primary.[12]

When campaigning, Allen emphasized his work helping Ward 6 working for Wells, saying that gave him extensive knowledge and experience about Ward 6.[13] Allen opposed the Large Retailer Accountability Act, which would have increased the minimum wage for large businesses located in the District, preferring instead an across-the-board minimum wage increase as opposed to a bill that only targeted large retailers.[14][15] Allen also did not access donations to his campaign from corporations.[16] Allen also criticized Thompson, saying Thompson's work has kept him focused on Nevada rather than the District, using the fact that Thompson has not voted in several District elections to make his case.[13] Thompson responded saying that he knew the District well because he was born in the District, unlike Allen.[17]

Thompson called Allen the "anointed candidate", a reference to Wells' choosing his own successor and labeling Allen as a political insider.[13] Thompson also says that Allen is effectively asking for more time to carry out Wells' agenda that should have been completed during Wells' eight years on the Council.[13]

Allen was endorsed by the editorial board of The Washington Post,[18] Service Employees International Union,[19] D.C. for Democracy,[20] D.C. Chamber of Commerce PAC,[21] the D.C. Chapter of the National Organization for Women, the D.C. Association of Realtors, Clean Slate Now,[22] the local firefighters' union, and the local police officers' union.[23] The local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees endorsed Thompson.[23]

Allen and his treasurer Pat Johnson opted for a campaign finance model that did not accept corporate donations. This was consistent with Allen's championing of campaign finance reform, having been a supporter of DC's Initiative 70 in 2012.[24]

In the Democratic primary election, Allen defeated Thompson,[25] with 58 percent of the vote.[26]

Allen faced Libertarian Party candidate Pranav Badhwar in the general election.[27] Allen won the general election with 88 percent of the vote.[28] His term began January 2, 2015.[29]


Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 6, 2014 (Democratic primary)[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charles Allen 7,140 58
Democratic Darrell Thompson 5,156 42
Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 6, 2014 (General election)[28]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charles Allen 19,805 88
Libertarian Pranav Badhwar 2,477 11


Allen currently serves on the following committees:[31]

  • Committee on Education
  • Committee on Transportation and the Environment
  • Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs


  1. ^ a b c Schulte, Brigid (August 6, 2006). "Class Questions; A groundbreaking poverty studies program at Washington and Lee University has some of the country's most affluent students pondering why they have -- and others have not". The Washington Post Magazine. The Washington Post. p. 18.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d Silverman, Elissa; Montgomery, Lori (June 8, 2006). "A Tale of Two Tonys". The Washington Post. p. T2.(subscription required)
  3. ^ Hess, Hannah. "Wells' Former Chief of Staff Wants to Represent Capitol Hill". Roll Call. Retrieved 2015-09-08.
  4. ^ a b "About Charles Allen". Charles Allen for Ward 6. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Timberg, Craig; Strauss, Valerie (March 11, 2004). "Evans Loses Out to the Little Guy". The Washington Post. p. T02.(subscription required)
  6. ^ Stewart, Nikita (May 8, 2007). "City Covers Police Overtime Costs for Sponsor; Carnival Organizer Also Wants Waiver". The Washington Post. p. B2.(subscription required)
  7. ^ a b Harris, Hamil R. (May 28, 2009). "Ousted Parks and Recreation Head Is Pushed to Run for Council". The Washington Post. p. DE1.(subscription required)
  8. ^ Chibbaro Jr., Lou (October 16, 2013). "Committee voids election of gay official as head of Ward 6 Dems". Washington Blade.
  9. ^ a b Allen, Charles (November 18, 2012). "This is no way to choose a D.C. Council member". The Washington Post. p. C6.(subscription required)
  10. ^ a b DeBonis, Mike (October 11, 2013). "Evans comes on strong in D.C. mayoral race fundraising, but Bowser retains cash edge". The Washington Post.(subscription required)
  11. ^ Beyers, Dan (October 28, 2013). "Darrel Thompson, former aide to Harry Reid, joins Collins Johnson". The Washington Post.(subscription required)
  12. ^ "Pranav Badhwar for DC City Council, Ward 6". Committee to Elect Pranav Badhwar. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d Svitek, Patrick (March 22, 2014). "Council hopefuls' boosters? You may have heard of them". The Washington Post. p. B3.(subscription required)
  14. ^ Sommer, Will (October 10, 2013). "Ex-Wells Chief of Staff Charles Allen Makes Ward 6 Run Official". Washington City Paper.
  15. ^ "Ward 6 Council Member". WAMU Voter Guide. Archived from the original on 2014-11-11.
  16. ^ Hess, Hannah (April 2, 2014). "Ward 6: Board of Elections Count Slows Charles Allen-Darrel Thompson Results". Roll Call.
  17. ^ "District of Columbia Voter Guide: Mayoral, Congressional and Council Primary Election, April 1, 2014" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections. p. 29.
  18. ^ "Our choices for D.C. Council". The Washington Post. March 15, 2014. p. A14.(subscription required)
  19. ^ Sommer, Will (January 22, 2014). "Graham, Allen Land SEIU Endorsements". Washington City Paper.
  20. ^ Sommer, Will (February 14, 2014). "Wells Leads in D.C. for Democracy Vote, Falls Short of Endorsement". Washington City Paper.
  21. ^ Wright, James (March 14, 2014). "D.C. Chamber PAC Backs McDuffie, Bonds, Allen for Council". The Washington Informer.
  22. ^ Wright, James (February 14, 2014). "Charles Allen Gets Key Endorsements in Ward 6 Race". The Washington Informer.
  23. ^ a b Sommer, Will (February 20, 2014). "Union Endorsements Fly in Ward 6 Race". Washington City Paper.
  24. ^ Sherwood, Tom. "Bubbles From the Political Pot... - Tom Sherwood's Notebook". Current Newspapers. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  25. ^ St. Martin, Victoria (April 2, 2014). "Two new members will change the face of the D.C. Council". The Washington Post.
  26. ^ "Primary Election 2014, Election Night Unofficial Results, April 01, 2014". District of Columbia Board of Elections. April 2, 2014. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014.
  27. ^ Wright, James (April 2, 2014). "Allen, Nadeau Set for Council Seats". The Washington Informer.
  28. ^ a b "2014 General Election Unofficial Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections. November 5, 2014.
  29. ^ DeBonis, Mike (January 1, 2015). "Bowser's 'fresh start,' new blood on council heralds new era for D.C. government". The Washington Post.
  30. ^ "D.C. mayoral primary election results". The Washington Post. April 2, 2014.
  31. ^[permanent dead link]
Council of the District of Columbia
Preceded by
Tommy Wells
Ward 6 Member, Council of the District of Columbia