Kathleen Patterson

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Kathy Patterson
Auditor of the District of Columbia
Assumed office
January 2, 2015
Governor Muriel Bowser
Preceded by Yolanda Branche
Personal details
Born (1948-06-21) June 21, 1948 (age 68)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Education Northwestern University (BA)
Georgetown University (MA)

Kathleen "Kathy" Patterson (b. June 21, 1948[1]) is a politician from Washington, D.C. From 1995 to 2007, she was a Democratic member of the Council of the District of Columbia, where she served as the elected member for Ward 3, a post now held by Mary Cheh.

Patterson ran for council chairman and was beaten in a landslide by Vincent C. Gray on September 12, 2006. Her election loss was attributed to racial politics by some Patterson supporters, while others felt that her tough-talking style was too abrasive to lead the council. Patterson said afterwards, "I have no apologies, and I have no regrets." (Washington Post, Sept 13, 2006)

Originally from Chico, California, Patterson came to the District in January 1977 to be a Washington correspondent for The Kansas City Star. She is the mother of two children, Gillian and Patrick.

Patterson ran for council in 1994, presenting herself as a parent concerned about public education in the District. At the time she was working as communications director for the American Public Welfare Association, a national nonprofit organization that represents state human service agencies and works with Congress and the White House on poverty and children's issues. Her grassroots campaign successfully ousted two-term incumbent James E. Nathanson in the Democratic primary. The voters of Ward 3 returned her to the Council three times, in 2002 with nearly 80 percent of the vote.

On the council, Patterson focused on fiscal responsibility, stronger public schools, and accountability from District government officials. She served as chair of the Committee on Government Operations from 1997 through 2000, the Committee on the Judiciary from January 2001 through 2004, and finally the Committee on Education, Libraries, and Recreation.

Patterson holds a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's degree in English literature from Georgetown University.


  1. ^ "Voters Guide 2006 Supplement" (PDF). The Washington Informer. 2006-09-24. 
Council of the District of Columbia
Preceded by
James Nathanson
Member of the Council of the District of Columbia
from Ward 3

Succeeded by
Mary Cheh
Political offices
Preceded by
Yolanda Branche
Auditor of the District of Columbia