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Grosso knocks Michael Brown from D.C. Council

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Photo - David Grosso
David Grosso
Local,DC,Liz Farmer

After a year of resignations and guilty pleas amid an ongoing investigation into corruption in city government, one of D.C.'s six council members up for re-election will be heading home.

Michael Brown, an independent whose campaign and personal finances have come under fire in recent months, couldn't hold on after challenger David Grosso's heavy campaigning leading up to Election Day on Tuesday.

Grosso, an independent, and Vincent Orange, a Democrat and the second at-large incumbent, were the top vote getters in a contest featuring seven candidates vying for two seats.

Grosso said late Tuesday night that he was looking forward to creating a new vision for the city that included more transparency in government and investing in high-quality schools for every neighborhood.

"We're really very exited about ushering in a new day in for D.C.," he told The Washington Examiner from his campaign party in Petworth.

Brown's spokesman said the campaign had fought hard -- but he could not be reached after the final results had come in.

Brown's campaign -- along with his image -- was hurt in June, when he discovered that more than $100,000 had gone missing from the account. He fired his treasurer and reported the case to D.C. police.

But Brown's records were not released by the Campaign Finance Office, and Grosso took the opportunity to demand more transparency from his opponent.

Political consultant Chuck Thies said going after an independent is easier than unseating a Democrat.

"In a contest where party alliances are no longer a factor, the 'kick the bums out' mentality is really starting to take hold," Thies said.

For some voters, Grosso's appeal is that he is an outsider from a legislative body that has seen two of its members resign and plead guilty to federal charges this year.

"I think Grosso is better because he's not the other two," Paul Malvey, a retired financial economist, told the Associated Press in referring to Brown and Orange. "He seems like he has his head on his shoulders, legally."

The upset came on a day that many estimated had a record voter turnout with long lines at peak hours at polls all across the District. Some residents reported waiting more than two hours to vote.

Compounding the waits were problems with election equipment. At one precinct in Northwest, the electronic voting station was broken for the first 90 minutes of voting, forcing everyone to cast ballots by hand.

Examiner intern Abby Hamblin contributed to this report.

lfarmer@washingtonexaminer.com

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