Women would make up the majority of the D.C. Council for the first time since 1986, if Wednesday’s preliminary elections results hold up.
The D.C. Board of Elections’ latest results showed women leading in three council races: Christina Henderson for the at-large seat being vacated by David Grosso; Janeese Lewis George, who defeated incumbent Brandon Todd in the Democratic primary for the Ward 4 seat; and incumbent Brooke Pinto, who first won her Ward 2 seat in a special election in June.
If they win after all the mail-in ballots are counted, seven of the 13 council members will be female.
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, a Democrat who has served on the legislative body for 22 years, said “change can be good.”
“[In] these times the council becoming majority Black and majority female is appropriate,” Mr. Mendelson said. “I remain concerned that, ideologically, the council continues to shift to the left. But the [preliminary] results are more moderate than many had predicted.”
Other women on the council include Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1 Democrat; Mary Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat; Anita Bonds, at-large Democrat; and Elissa Silverman, at-large independent.
Ms. Henderson, an independent, claimed victory Wednesday after the closest of her 22 rivals conceded defeat. She garnered 65,201 votes (15%), and was trailed by former council member Vincent Orange with 52,375 votes (12%), real estate developer Marcus Goodwin with 50,652 votes (12%) and policy analyst Ed Lazere with 50,278 votes (12%).
The other at-large seat up for grabs on Tuesday was won by council member Robert White, a Democrat whose re-election bid garnered 111,657 votes (26%).
Ms. Henderson said a female majority on the council would be “really great for D.C.” amid the “mixture of new challenges ahead” next year.
“Women just lead differently in terms of how we have great collaboration, and try to think outside of the box, and elevate various issues that are brought to the table,” she said.
Mrs. Cheh said she is “particularly pleased” that Ms. Henderson has won because she will be a “new face of leadership.”
“It is entirely beneficial that women will be a majority of the Council because, although there are different political perspectives among us, we all have important life experiences to bring to Council decisions,” said Ms. Cheh, who has served on the council for 13 years.
Ms. Pinto, a Democrat, secured her victory in Ward 2 by winning nearly 70% of the vote on Tuesday. Her 16,786 vote tally is more than triple that of her closest competitor, independent Randy Downs, who received 4,925 votes (20%). (The Ward 2 seat was vacated by Jack Evans in February following an ethics scandal.)
Ms. Pinto already claimed victory and said in a statement that she will “continue to seek out and work with diverse perspectives that will benefit our city.”
Ms. Lewis George cruised to victory in Ward 4, with 31,933 votes (92%) — more than 16 times the number of votes than D.C. Statehood Green Party candidate Perry Redd, who received