At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman Files Appeal to D.C. Campaign Finance Ruling

Asks Elections Board to Hold Hearing & Reverse Ruling Based on Plain Reading of Law

WASHINGTON, D.C.— At-Large D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman earlier this afternoon filed an appeal to the D.C. Board of Elections, arguing a D.C. Office of Campaign Finance order improperly interpreted D.C. law regarding allowable campaign expenditures. A copy of the appeal is here and below. Silverman, who is running for re-election as an independent candidate in the November 8 general election, also issued the following statement:

Earlier this year, I commissioned polling in the Ward 3 primary election to better understand voter priorities and guide my endorsement selection. In August, a complaint was filed about these expenditures by one of my opponents in the general election.

While the Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) determined in their ruling that there was no improper coordination between me and any other campaign, which was the basis of the complaint, they believed the polling expense fell outside of the scope of the Fair Elections regulations. I disagree with this interpretation of the law and today my attorneys filed an appeal.

While I am disappointed by the OCF ruling, my real concern comes from the potential it has to dissuade other candidates from participating in the Fair Elections program and deciding to use traditional financing. We have seen what happens when politicians rely on big money donors to power their campaigns. You only need to look as far as some of my most competitive opponents who have bankrolled their campaigns with $1,000 checks from special interests. 

I am optimistic that this decision will be overturned on appeal and that it will not prevent any future office seekers from using the Fair Elections program. In the meantime, I will continue fighting for workers, tenants, and all D.C. residents and businesses who cannot pay for expensive lobbyists at the Wilson Building.


For Immediate Release: November 2, 2022
Contact: Michelle Whittaker, 202-701-8420,