D.C. Ward 5 special election: Kenyan McDuffie wins

A McDuffie supporter rallies for votes during the special election. (Photo: Joshua Yospyn)

WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) - Kenyan McDuffie emerged victorious in a Tuesday special election to fill Harry Thomas' vacated Ward 5 seat on the D.C. Council.

McDuffie, an attorney and civil rights activist who grew up in the District, will replace Thomas, who stepped down from his Ward 5 seat after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 from the city. He will serve for the remainder of Thomas' term, which runs through 2014.

Voters say Thomas' crime brought shame to the District, and it's time to put someone in office who will straighten things up.

"We really need to have a good representative for our community," voter Alfreda Revis said.

Fellow voter Michael Kiefer added, " I think what it really comes down to is someone that's really going to respect the opportunity of being elected into office."

Kiefer has lived in Ward 5 for nine years and says everyone has seen what happens when elected officials go unchecked.

Registered voters from any party were eligible to participate in the special election. Ten Democrats, one Republican and one independent were on the ballot

Barring a recount, the election results will be certified and McDuffie will be sworn in May 30.