News & Politics

No Attorney General Election for DC in April

Judge rules against the lawyer who was trying to keep the race on the ballot and run for the job himself.

Photograph courtesy Paul Zukerberg.

Voters in the District’s April 1 Democratic primary won’t get to make a choice for attorney general, a DC Superior Court judge ruled today, effectivily killing defense lawyer Paul Zukerberg’s chances at becoming the city’s first elected AG this year.

Zukerberg had sued the city over a law that pushed the attorney general election back to 2018, then filed as a candidate himself. He had a last-ditch hearing Thursday on his motion to remain on 2014’s ballots, even as the DC Board of Elections faced a deadline today to print them. 

 Zukerberg’s attorney, Gary Thompson, told Judge Laura A. Cordero that he would be “irreparably harmed” as a candidate and citizen if the election was not held in 2014 under an amendment to the city’s charter adopted four years ago.

Cordero seemed skeptical at yesterday’s hearing, and confirmed it in her ruling today.

“Plaintiff has not ‘clearly demonstrated,’ much less made a ‘strong showing’ that he will be in danger of suffering irreparable harm if the Attorney General election is not held in 2014,” she wrote.

Thompson said yesterday he might appeal an unfavorable decision, but with the Board of Elections sending ballots to the printer this afternoon, Zukerberg’s last, best chance is now a bill that the Council will review Monday that would put the AG race on the general election ballot in November. But having already kicked the election to 2018, the Council is unlikely to put it back on this year’s calendar.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.