Hyattsville voters chose incumbent interim Mayor and Ward 1 City Councilor Kevin Ward as their next mayor, along with five other City Council members, concluding the spring 2021 municipal election season along the Route 1 corridor, with elections in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Riverdale Park and University Park taking place the week before.
The elections brought some firsts, as well. In Hyattsville Ward becomes the first African American man elected to the Mayor’s office. Ward is also the first African American man to serve as Mayor, though he earned that distinction in January when he succeeded former Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, who resigned her seat early to focus on other political ambitions.
Ward handily beat campaign rivals in Ward Five City Councilor Joseph Solomon and political newcomer Austin Martinez. Ward received 1,606 votes to Solomon’s 823 and Martinez’s 247. With only 500 same-day votes uncounted, Ward’s 783-vote lead over Solomon is more than enough to secure the win.
Consider this Route 1 Reporter’s paean to the elections of the Prince George’s County Route 1 corridor’s smaller towns. Amid an historically-large field of candidates in Hyattsville this year, I was unable to provide the type of coverage I’d like for the other races in the corridor. Still, voters in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Riverdale Park all have elections that are coming to a close today, May 3, 2021, while University Park will vote the next day. Below, a rundown of the races:
In Brentwood, a rhetorically contentious election pits two slates of candidates against each other. The Fair Leadership slate sees incumbent Mayor Rocio Treminio-Lopez court votes alongside council hopefuls Stefan Leggin, Quianna Taylor and Mary Vechery.
Is a multifamily developer eyeing North Brentwood for a major redevelopment project? A recent property sale in North Brentwood’s Rhode Island Corridor suggests so. According to state property records,, a corporate entity named NP 111 LLC purchased several parcels near the 4550 block of Rhode Island Avenue in North Brentwood in a two transactions recorded July 12, 2019. NP 111 LLC is a holding company of RSE Capital Partners LLC, a real estate investment trust focused on multifamily properties in the Washington, D.C., area. NP 111 LLC bought approximately one acre of land for $4.9 million in separate transaction with two other real estate ventures registered to real estate developer Langon Drew Hample: 4550 Rhode Island LLC and Congressional Commercial LLC.
The properties are presently zoned for mixed-use-infill development. One is a presently home to a Beacon Roofing Supply warehouse, the other is an abandoned storefront that recently hosted an antique plumbing supply store.
Earlier this month, Thomas S. Stone Elementary School’s principal, Ashanti Foster, was placed on administrative leave after parents and community leaders objected to a planned White House field trip that would have required students to provide citizenship information. The Washington Post reported the principal was suspended over the wording of the permission slip. School district officials have since come under fire for taking such a significant step over such a seemingly minor mistake. But the reality is more complicated. The field trip and permission slip were simply the latest in a long series of management failures.
Incumbent Mount Rainier City Councilor Celina Benitez has decisively won a four-year term, holding on to her seat in the Gateway City’s Ward One she first won two years ago. Benitez defeated rival Charnette Robinson by a vote of 281 to 109, according to unofficial results. While the final numbers could change due to potentially-outstanding absentee ballots, there are too few such ballots outstanding to change the final result, according to Mount Rainier election officials. “I’m definitely happy the community came out. It was an election where there with only Council members, so sometimes you tendto feel people will not come out, especially when there’s not a Federal election,” said Benitez in an interview after the votes were counted.
Route 1 Reporter is tracking elections in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Riverdale Park today, as voters in municipalities across Maryland head to the polls in the culmination of the spring local election season. Many of Monday’s inner-Route 1 races are all-but decided. Incumbents are running unopposed for North Brentwood’s Mayor and Council seat II. Only one race is competitive in Riverdale Park. In Brentwood, incumbent Mayor Rocio Treminio-Lopez is unopposed.
Parents at a heavily-Hispanic elementary school in Mount Rainier are angry after a permission slip for a fourth-grade field trip to the White House required students to provide proof of citizenship if they wanted to attend.