Brianne Nadeau

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Brianne Nadeau (born 1980) is a Democratic politician in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Council of the District of Columbia representing Ward 1 since 2015. She defeated long-time incumbent Jim Graham in the Democratic Party primary and won the general election with 75% of the vote in 2014.

Early life and professional career

Brianne K. Nadeau was born into a Jewish family in Michigan, [3] [4] growing up in Grosse Pointe. [5] A Girl Scout for 13 years, she earned a Gold Award, the Scouts' highest honor. Nadeau has said that Girl Scouts taught her to look for work and to leave things better than you found them. [34]

Nadeau graduated from Boston College with a bachelor's degree in political science [3] in 2002. [7] She also earned a master's degree in public policy from American University [3] in 2006. [8] She worked as a scheduler for Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland. [9]

Nadeau worked as a public relations consultant and vice president for Rabinowitz Communications, [10] where she promoted progressive causes for nonprofit organizations. Nadeau was a member of the board of directors of Jews United for Justice, [10] a charitable organization that helps pursue justice and equality in local community. [10] She was active in the District of Columbia chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. [10]

Political career

Advisory Neighborhood Commission

Nadeau served as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Single Member District 1B05 from 2007 [6] to 2010. [13]

Campaign for Council

She ran against four-term member of the Council of the District of Columbia Jim Graham in the Democratic Party primary election in 2014.

During her campaign, Nadeau emphasized issues such as affordable housing, transportation, constituent services, and providing long-term solutions to recurring problems. [4]

Nadeau was critical of Graham for actions he took in 2008. The District of Columbia Board of Ethics and Government Accountability found substantial evidence that Graham asked a developer to withdraw its bid for a real estate project so that another firm, who had donated to Graham, could win the bid. In exchange, Graham offered to support the firm's bid for a lottery contract, violating the District employees code of conduct. The District Council also reprimanded Graham for his inappropriate actions. Graham said his actions may have been political horsetrading rather than anything illegal or unethical. [17]

Graham accused Nadeau of irregularities in connection to a home-buyer program. According to Graham, in 2009 Nadeau had asked Graham and then-Council Chair Vincent Gray for help with a home-buyer program. Nadeau had been approved for the loan two years earlier, but the income-based loan guarantee was reduced because her salary had increased since then. Graham said that signing her letters with her title as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner was inappropriate and unethical. Nadeau defended the letters, saying she was about to lose her home and simply advocated for herself the best way she could. Following an investigation, the Inspector General cleared Nadeau and found that all the allegations were unsubstantiated. [18]

Nadeau's candidacy was endorsed by At-large Council Member David Grosso, Ward Six Council Member Tommy Wells, progressive political action committee Democracy for America, [20] and the editorial boards of the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper [22] and Northwest Current. [3]


Nadeau defeated Graham in the primary election by a wide margin.

In the general election, Nadeau was on the ballot with independent Ernest Johnson [24] and Libertarian John Vaught LaBeaume; there was no Republican candidate on the ballot. [10] Nadeau went on to win the general election as well. [25]

Council of the District of Columbia

Sale of parcel to developers for below market value

In July 2015, Nadeau proposed emergency legislation to facilitate the sale of land at 965 Florida Avenue NW by the District of Columbia to developers MRP Realty, Ellis Development, and JBG Smith. The city sold the parcels for $400,000, well below their estimated value of between $5 million and $27.6 million. [27]

Initial opposition to Pepco-Exelon merger

In May 2015, Nadeau opposed the merger between Exelon and Pepco, expressing concerns about the impact on costs and renewable energy. [35] In October 2015, she changed her position and urged regulators to support the deal. [29]


Nadeau serves on the following committees: [30]

  • Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
  • Committee on Health and Human Services
  • Committee on Housing and Community Development
  • Committee of the Whole

Personal life

Nadeau had lived in the District of Columbia for 13 years when she was elected to the Council. [10] She lives near Meridian Hill Park. [3] [4] In March 2016, she announced her engagement to longtime boyfriend Jayson Harpster, a Kaiser Permanente consultant. [2]

Electoral Results

2006 General Election, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Single Member District 1B05 [6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Brianne K. Nadeau 175 64
Non-partisan Howard P. Wilson 92 34
Write-In 6 2
2008 General Election, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Single Member District 1B05 [13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Brianne K. Nadeau 518 96
Write-In 24 4
2014 Democratic Primary, Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 1 [4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brianne K. Nadeau 6,688 59
Democratic Jim Graham 4,642 41
Democratic Write-In 57 1
2014 General Election, Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 1 [35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brianne K. Nadeau 17,024 75
Independent Ernest E. Johnson 2,021 9
Libertarian John Vaught LaBeaume 829 4
Write-In 207 1
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