Eric Goulet Launches a Ward 3 State Board of Education Run Amid Campaign Finance Investigation

Races for D.C.’s State Board of Education typically don’t get much attention, considering that the board has pretty constrained powers and often acts in an advisory capacity these days. Something tells Loose Lips the contest for the Ward 3 seat may soon be an exception.

That’s because Eric Goulet, longtime D.C. government staffer and erstwhile Council candidate, jumped into the race late on Friday. Several Ward 3 politicos told LL that they had been hearing rumblings for the past week that Goulet was mulling a rapid political comeback, but he didn’t make things official until the weekend, as the Aug. 10 deadline for candidates to gather enough signatures to make the ballot draws near.

This makes Goulet the second candidate this cycle to run for different seats in the primary and the general. The other is Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, who announced a bid for an at-large Council seat in the wake of his failed attorney general campaign.

Goulet is by far the highest profile politician to enter an SBOE race as of yet, and he comes to the race with some serious strengths, considering he very nearly edged out Matt Frumin in the Council primary. He demonstrated quite a bit of fundraising prowess in that race, scored the Washington Post’s endorsement, and earned a ton of name recognition in the wake of a slew of ads and mailers from outside groups. His only other competition, thus far, is Palisades-area Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 3D04 Michael Sriqui. Incumbent SBOE Rep. Ruth Wattenberg won’t run again after two terms in office.

The SBOE may lack the power of a traditional school board, but a win here could keep Goulet politically relevant if he wants to attempt another Council bid four years from now. The SBOE has been a training ground for several well-known local pols, including Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry.

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