With D.C. primaries just over a week away, the three candidates vying for the democratic nomination for Ward 3 council seat are making the final push for your votes.
The candidates include incumbent Jim Nathanson, who has already served two four-year terms, Kathy Patterson, and James Montgomery. The winner of the Sept. 13 primary will face Philip Murphy, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination, in the November election.
Nathanson is a former school teacher. He was first elected to the council in 1986, and he is currently serving as the chair of the Judiciary Committee. Patterson is the Director of Communications for the American Public Welfare Association. She has been a resident of D.C. since 1977. Montgomery has an MBA in finance from Harvard. He has served as a city court prosecutor, and in 1993 was an adjunct professor of finance at AU.
Montgomery said he thinks the most important issue facing D.C. is crime and law enforcement. He said an under-qualified police force is the reason for the increasing crime rate. Patterson and Nathanson cite the city’s budget as the main issue.
Nathanson said he is confident he will win a third term to the council despite attacks by Patterson. Patterson claims that Nathanson voted yes on budget proposals that he knew were unsound. Patterson has also criticized Nathanson for his lack of oversight within his community. Nathanson says that his opponents are not aware of the work that he has done for his community during his two terms.
All the candidates have said during the campaign they believe downsizing is the best way to balance the city’s budget. Patterson and Nathanson both said that they feel the city cannot afford to continue funding the D.C. School of Law.
All three candidates have said they want to stop unregulated housing in Glover Park and American University Park. Nathanson is not in favor of eliminating group housing because it provides affordable housing, but he calls for a proposal which limits the number of non-related renters per house to six. Montgomery wants to limit non-related renters per house to four.
Patterson said she believes she can build the relationship between the University and the surrounding neighborhood. She says a new president will allow for a better student-community relationship, and address concerns such as student renters.