Mt. Rainier, Hyattsville and Cheverly Election Results

Mount Rainier

Mayor
Malinda Miles (incumbent), 486
Jesse Christopherson, 416

Ward 1 – Two Years
Celina Benitez, 331
Charnette Robinson, 155

Ward 1 – Four Years
Luke Chesek, 339
Tyrese Robinson, 143

Ward 2
Bryan Knedler (incumbent), 353

The election was hard fought and exhibited tensions related to issues of change, class, and gentrification. In recent years, the African-American share of the population has fallen while many Latino immigrants and Whites have moved to the town.

Essentially, two slates competed. Mayor Malinda Miles along with Charnette Robinson and Tyrese Robinson represented the views of longer term residents. All are African-American women. Councilmember Jesse Christopherson was allied with Celina Benitez and Luke Chesek. Christopherson and Chesek are white while Benitez is a Salvadoran immigrant.

Though Mayor Miles eked out a win in the marquee race, she will now have to grapple with two newcomers she opposed on the Council, as Benitez and Chesek easily won their races. White incumbent Bryan Knedler was also reelected.

The mayoral campaign was clearly hard fought and not always pretty. After the election, one resident bizarrely wrote losing Mayoral Candidate Jesse Christopherson’s wife what can best be described as an intentionally hurtful nastygram.

UPDATE: Luke Chesek explained via email that he did not run on a slate or endorse either mayoral candidate. Thanks for the much appreciated feedback.

Hyattsville

Ward 1
Bart Lawrence (incumbent), 467
Talib Karim, 165
Ian Herron, 50

Ward 2
Robert Croslin (incumbent), 356
Write-Ins, 20

Ward 3
Carrianna Suiter, 136
Ayanna D. Shivers, 85
Vinni Anandham, 19
Write-In, 1

Ward 4
Edouard Haba (incumbent), 106
Shirley Ann Bender, 18

Ward 5
Erica Spell, 75
Ben Zeitler, 51
Derrika Durant, 4

A group of Catholic Hyattsville residents who have formed a tight community were recently featured in a profile of Ron Dreher in the New Yorker. Councilmember Shani Warner reports on Facebook that the election was at least somewhat bitter:

Amusing excerpt from a “concession” email to the neighborhood listserv: “Also, I extend my gratitude to all the people who made false and hurtful statements about me and my supporters, as I am told that every act of wrong that one experiences wipes away sin.”

The concession email was authored by Talib Karim, who lost an appeal against a Civil Protection Order requested by his wife. The basis for Karim’s appeal was that the judge denied his request for a continuance to seek counsel in the middle of the trial–Karim is a lawyer and decided to go pro se.

Controversies also included campaign finance. Herron and Karim filed their reports after the deadline. Karim failed to submit required receipts for campaign expenditures and may have accepted illegal donations from businesses. Others also had problems with their reports.

You may wonder why such reports are required in such a small town but candidates have raised thousands of dollars. Karim, for example, raised over $12,000 in 2015, and had raised over $8000 in 2017. Mayor Hollingsworth also raised over $11,000 in 2015.

Cheverly

Ward 1
Laila Riazi, 71

Ward 2
Robert Julian Ivey, 220
Nicholas D’Angelo, 133

Ward 3
Roswell Eldridge, 59

Ward 4
Maurielle Stewart, 127
Fred Price, Jr., 36

Ward 5
Jenny Garcia, 6
Lucille Gaither, 3
Melissa Turner, 1

Ward 6
Elizabeth MacKenzie, 56
Monica Megan Daly, 34

Julian Ivey is the son of former Del. and Lt. Gov. Candidate Jolene Ivey and former State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey. They must be very proud of his election. I have no idea what happened in Ward 5, which only had ten voters.

UPDATE: A reader explained why the turnout is so abysmal in Ward 5:

Ward 5 turnout is a perennial issue. Ward 5 encompasses a large complex of apartments on the edge of Town with predominately minority renters.  When District maps were drawn, the apartments were all put in Ward 5 to help assure that an African American would be represented on Council.  But the apartments have never been really fully integrated into the Town. Consequently, few candidates run for Council and only a handful vote in Town elections (turnout in presidential elections is relatively good.) The good intentions have never materialized.

Thanks for the information and local perspective.