Meet Michael Bekesha, DC Council Ward 6 Candidate

This year is Election Year in the District of Columbia! DC will hold a primary election on Tuesday, June 19 and a general election on Tuesday, November 6. One of the contested races this year it will be for Ward Member of the DC Council in Ward 6. And guess what? The DC Republican Party has a candidate to run on Ward 6!

Martha Ruiz Jiménez (MRJ), DCYRs Vice Chair of Communications, conducted an interview to DC Council Ward 6 candidate Michael Bekesha (MB):

MRJ: Michael, where are you from and what do you do?
MB: Hello! I have met many of you (DCYRs) over the past few months. If we haven't yet connected, my name is Michael. I am originally from Massachusetts, went to undergraduate school at Northwestern University and law school at University of Missouri, and have been an attorney at Judicial Watch since 2009.

MRJ: What made you become a Republican?
MB: There isn't a defining moment. Nor can I say it runs in my family. It just comes down to certain principles and beliefs: fiscally conservative viewpoints such as the government should only collect the taxes it needs and not wasting the money it collects; the federal government has limited authority and should not be involved in every aspect of our lives; states and localities are better situated and equipped to help us when needed; we should promote and support businesses, especially small businesses; the best innovation comes from the private sector and we must support our law enforcement and military.

MRJ: Since when have you been and what made you be involved in Politics?
MB: I have always been interested in politics, political philosophy, and the intersection of law and politics; however, it wasn't until last year that I realized that I wanted to be engaged.

MRJ: What made you run for DC Council?
MB: DC is broken up into 8 wards. Each ward is represented by one council member. In addition to those 8 individuals, DC has a 4 at-large council members and a chairperson, who is also elected at-large. Every single member of the 13-person council is a Democrat. And there hasn't been a Republican on the council for 10 years. How is that acceptable?

It isn't. It lends to groupthink. It creates an echo chamber. And it results in a real lack of accountability. Corruption breeds more easily in a one-party system, So, I want to change that. DC is extremely diverse, both in socioeconomic status but also in ideas. Having a one-party Democratic council does not represent DC residents. It also doesn't lead to new, innovative ideas. There is no member on the council willing to question or challenge the other members. This must change. So, I am running because it's time for new ideas and a fresh perspective on the Council.

MRJ: Tells us about an issue that affects our generation in Ward 6 and a possible solution to it.
MB: So much affect us. But I will stick with the biggest: affordable housing. Rents continue to rise, and, as a result, many of our generation decide to live outside the District. I want to see that change. Ward 6 has so much to offer: the Nationals, DC United, the new Wharf, Eastern Market, Shaw, H Street, and so much more. I want our generation to not only work and play here but to live as well.

So, how do you fix the problem? Working with all stakeholders. Talking to the developers and the landlords, the renters and the home buyers, the banks, the community groups, and our small businesses. We need to hear from everyone. We need to understand where people want to live, how they want to live, and what they can reasonably pay to live there. We also need to hear what it takes to build, manage, and maintain housing in the District. We need to all work together to find a solution.

MRJ: Michael, you have been door-knocking for several weekends now. Can you share a cool door-knocking experience?
MB: When I started knocking on doors in October, I had no idea what to expect. I was knocking on the door as a candidate. It is definitely a unique feelings. However, what I have found is that fellow Republicans are extremely excited to have a candidate running in the ward. They feel as though they finally have a voice. Is it cool? I don't know. But it drives me to work harder.

MRJ: Do you have any advice to give to young republicans in the District?
MB: Enjoy DC, professionally, politically, culturally and socially. It is unlike any city in the country. Take advantage of the networking and lunch events, happy hours, museums, and everything in between. You never know who you will meet and when you will meet them. It could be a future employer, your best friend, or your spouse/significant other. Also, keep your head held up high. DC is tough. But it is worth is. Oh, and volunteer for Bekesha 2018! There is no better campaign in DC.

MRJ: Michael, thank you very much for making time not only for this interview but also running for Ward 6 in order to, also, make people aware of the fact that there are republicans in the District.

MRJ: Today is National Pizza Day, so what's your favorite pizza?
MB: Pepperoni Pizza. Either from All-Purpose Pizzeria (in Shaw and soon-to-be in  Navy Yard) or Timber Pizza.

Michael Bekesha with his wife Holly and Sprocket.

Michael Bekesha with his wife Holly and Sprocket.