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Conservatives began voting with their feet and moving to Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, where schools were top-notch, taxes were lower, and the streets far safer.

After the Nixon administration and Congress gave their limited home-rule go-ahead to D.C. residents in 1973, the D.C. Democratic Party no longer needed to strong-arm the polls.

No Republican or independent has become mayor, chairman of the D.C. Council or won the congressional race.

No Republican or independent has held one of the eight ward seats.

Even today, not one Republican holds a council seat.

Sure, many have tried, but they all failed to take out a single Democrat.

And sure, there’s former Republican David A. Catania and outgoing independent Michael A. Brown, but each abandoned their party and owned up to their own shades of progressive blue after winning office.

Technically, they both won fair and square, but if you’re looking for a social conservative or fiscal conservative, or even a constitutional constructionist, look across the Potomac or outside the Beltway.

Culturally and politically speaking, the nation’s capital is like San Francisco on steroids.

Another liberal, David Grosso, comes on board in January after winning the at-large race in the general election in November.

The current lineup for the April 23 special election cannot be colored even the lightest shade of purple since only one Republican has announced his candidacy, and that is Patrick Mara, a Republican in name only (or RINO) who promises to be stakeholders’ “ethical and fiscal watchdog” if elected.

Well, city hall has always had watchdogs and some, including Mr. Catania, bark louder than others.

What stakeholders need is for the D.C. Republican Party to stiffen its spine and grow — well, this being a family newspaper, I can’t go there.

But you know what’s missing.

• Deborah Simmons can be reached at