On December 31, the D.C. Court of Appeals (which is not the same as the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C.) ruled that Michael A. Brown, not Patrick Mara, is the winner of the District’s “at-large” seat that is always reserved for someone other than a Democrat. UPDATE: here is the 5-page decision.
D.C. provides that voters may vote for two candidates for City Council-at-Large, and each party may only run a single nominee. This was meant to keep the Democrats from winning all seats.
Michael A. Brown had been a prominent Democratic Party activist and had voted in this year’s Democratic presidential primary. But he had changed his registration to “independent” in May 2008, and he filed petitions to be on the November ballot as an independent. He got the most votes of all non-Democrats. Republicans had sued, claiming that Republican nominee Patrick Mara should be declared the winner since Brown was not a bona fide independent. But the Court ruled that such “real world” political associations are irrelevant.