The hard part was defeating four-time incumbent Councilman Jim Graham in the April primary. Since then, Brianne Nadeau, the newly-elected Democrat Ward 1 council member has been meeting and greeting and learning about resident’s concerns.
With no Republican in the race, Nadeau was all but assured a victory over Libertarian John Vaught LaBeaume and Independent Ernest Johnson in the ward which encompasses such diverse areas as U Street, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights and Howard University.
Her victory party at Marvin, a bistro and bar at 14th and U Streets, was one of glee without any of the nervous anticipation usually experienced on election night. An upstairs room, decorated with balloons and election posters, slowly filled throughout the evening as people drifted between election parties in the District. A blue and white cake in the shape of the District was made by Jana Kadden, who attends DC Minyan with Nadeau. .
During the evening, supporters listened to music but kept their eyes on a large screen television tuned to Channel 8 news, closely watching Maryland and D.C. results.
About an hour after the polls closed but before Nadeau had delivered her victory speech, Graham entered the party, gave Nadeau a big hug, and vowed to help her transition into the seat he has held since 1999.
Nadeau is entering the council during a time of change. With a new mayor and three new council members elected to the 13-member board Tuesday, Nadeau believes the energy the newcomers bring will enable the council to accomplish much. In particular, she intends to work for affordable housing, strong neighborhood schools and the rooting out of corruption, she said.
Since April, Nadeau has worked to introduce herself to as many people in the District as possible, but one person she never met was the libertarian candidate. She did, however, have a few public debates with Johnson.
Nadeau, a vice president at Rabinowitz Communications, a public relations firm, is a board member of Jews United for Justice. She is active in the D.C. chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and a 12-year resident of Washington, D.C.