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D.C. Council members endorse Anita Bonds, but undecided voters top poll

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Local,DC,Eric P. Newcomer,D.C. Council,David Grosso

D.C. Councilwoman Anita Bonds is working to shore up her position as the consensus Democratic candidate in the at-large race, yet "undecided" represents the thinking of nearly half of voters surveyed in a new poll released barely a week before Election Day.

Public Policy Polling said Bonds leads the six-person pack with 19 percent support, over fellow Democrat Elissa Silverman and Republican Patrick Mara, who both had 13 percent support in the poll.

But 43 percent of the 1,621 registered voters who were surveyed said they were still undecided in the special election, which will see voters head to the polls on April 23.

Based on historical trends, the D.C. Board of Elections said it expects less than 15 percent of the city's roughly 505,000 registered voters to cast their ballot in the at-large race.

A parade of Democrats articulated their support for Bonds during a news conference Monday morning. Counting Bonds, seven of the 13 members of the D.C. Council have supported her candidacy.

"I am proud to endorse her as an African-American, I am proud to endorse her as a woman, and I am proud to endorse her as a Democrat," Councilwoman Yvette Alexander said. "Democrats matter."

Just one council member -- newly elected at-large Councilman David Grosso -- has endorsed another candidate. He threw his support behind former Washington Post reporter Elissa Silverman in an email blast last week.

The other two Democrats in the race -- Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Matthew Frumin and pro-marijuana attorney Paul Zukerberg -- have not been endorsed by any sitting council members.

In the poll, Frumin placed fourth, with 8 percent of registered voters supporting him. Two percent supported Zukerberg.

Mara, the race's lone Republican and a State Board of Education member, hasn't received any endorsements from denizens of city hall, but he has picked up nods from the Washington Post Editorial page, the Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Club.

In an emailed statement, Mara aimed to turn Bonds' growing list of supporters against her.

"The D.C. Council is broken and too many politicians like it that way," he said. "Six Council members have endorsed the incumbent. This is the same Council that hardly punished one of its own for ethics violations. This is the same Council that largely sat quiet while two members, now convicted felons, voted on ethics reform laws."

enewcomer@washingtonexaminer.com

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