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Yesterday was a whirlwind. After waking up at 5:30 a.m., I spent 18 hours total in Wards 7 and 8 (east of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.) and in the downtown Washington Post office reporting on the mayoral Democratic primary.

My reporting contributed to The Washington Post’s extensive coverage of the Councilmember Muriel Bowser’s victory over incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray.

Below are links to articles and tweets that contain my writing, reporting or photos from April 1. I’ve pulled out and quoted (what I think is) the most interesting stuff, and you can find more at or at my Twitter account:

“How D.C. votes: Paper or Scantron?”

“Huge variation in turnout across city”

THEARC has special meaning to the mayor, since it’s part of what he sees as successful development in Ward 8. ”It’s a phenomenal addition to this area of Southeast,” Gray said Tuesday when he swung by the recreation and arts center shortly before noon. While “the turnout has not been great,” he said, those who showed up were “energized.”

“Shallal’s key challenge: ‘Who are you?'”

Andy Shallal stands out in a crowd. In the parking lot of Benning Public Library in Ward 7, the restaurateur and mayoral candidate towers over volunteers for Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser.

Shallal walks laps between the polling place doors to pick up handicapped access signage and the bed of his campaign’s pickup truck to grab a slice of pizza. In between, he greets voters with a handshake (and once, a long, quiet embrace of a somber voter.)

“It’s not a heavy turnout,” Shallal said in an interview. “Everybody’s precious.”

City polling sites show apparently low voter turnout

Many preferred to sit out.

Hezekiah Smalls, 23, volunteered for 15 hours of Election Day but spent none of that time voting. “I don’t think it was important enough,” Smalls said.

Though he considers his time at the Benning Public Library running the ballot boxes a “service to the community,” he said he prefers to vote only in presidential elections, where, he said, the outcomes have a bigger impact.

“Voter turnout: ‘Where is everybody?'”

“Poll workers: Lowest turnout in memory”

“Bowser, Gray supporters explain choices”

Down the hill from the Covenant Baptist Church in Congress Heights, Lafayette Barnes and Clifford Waddy stand by campaign signs and flyer and joke about age and giving their information to a reporter.

But Barnes is manning the table for Mayor Vince Gray, and Waddy sports a green cap emblazoned with the name of council member Muriel Bowser, Gray’s closest competitor for the mayoral election.

Turnout light so far in one precinct

Diane Boyd, 62, voted for Gray after seeing improvements of the community in terms of education, crime and the economy.

“Across the river, on the other side, they get a lot of what they need…east of the river, we’re denied a lot. It’s not the same,” said Boyd, a contact representative for the D.C. Board.

Some of this reporting makes an appearance in the print edition depending on the edition. Given the late results release by the D.C. Board of Elections, The Washington Post’s print edition carried the mayoral race on A1 in every edition Tuesday night, but in different ways depending on the news available at the time.


I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining The Washington Post’s newsroom next semester as an American University School of Communication Dean’s Intern.

In other words, for five months next semester, I will be a (paid) reporter for the Metro section of Washington’s best and biggest newspaper.

Words can’t describe how excited I am for this opportunity to hone my journalistic craft in the city I adore at a paper I revere. It’s the same paper that took down a president, exposed the horrors of Vietnam, and day-by-day brings the goings-on of the nation’s capital to the American people.

The team I will work with is incredible. I’m proud to call many journalists at the Post friends and colleagues even before my first day. I’ve also reported (and opined) on the vast changes coming to the paper in a difficult time, so I know of what they are capable.

I owe a debt of gratitude to former interns and dear friends (Stefanie Dazio, Sam Hogan, Sam Raphelson and especially Rachel Karas) who encouraged me to apply; to the SOC professors who recommended me (Amy Eisman, Rick Rockwell and Richard Benedetto); to SOC Dean Jeff Rutenbeck, Washington Post Metro editor Vernon Loeb (who I’m sad to say will be gone by the time I get there), Sharon Metcalf, Marvin Anderson, and the rest selection committee and SOC staff who run the Dean’s Internship program; and to my friends and family who put up with my insanity throughout the application process.

I can’t wait to get started.