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“My hero,” Gilbrette “Gigi” Ransom, an advisory neighborhood commission member from Ward 5, said of Ms. Cheh. “She stood up for all women. I’m am so proud of her.”

Mr. Graham, the Pepco regional president, downplayed the utility’s inherent opposition to Ms. Noel.

“Our issue was the ability to perform,” he said.

Yet a number of spectators, including advocates who protested outside the John A. Wilson Building, disagreed with the committee’s decision.

“This is a sad day for the District of Columbia,” Kathy Henderson, a candidate for the council seat from Ward 5, said as the hearing gaveled to a close.