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Posts in "DC Mayoral Race"
August 19, 2014
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is characterizing the nearly all-white elected leadership and police force in majority-black Ferguson, Mo., as “poison.”
“Here you have mostly white police force in a mostly black community, but I’m really perplexed about why most of the elected officials are white as well,” Norton, a Democrat, said Tuesday during an interview with MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart. “Is there something about the way elections are done in Missouri or in the county?”
Though members of Congress have raised the alarm about mounting violence and militarized police in the St. Louis suburb, Norton, a Yale-educated civil rights lawyer, may be among the first to raise the issue of racial disparity among Ferguson’s elected leadership.
May 28, 2014
A local high school’s effort to support its gay students has drawn the ire of the Westboro Baptist Church, provoking the divisive, Kansas-based group to plan a protest next month in the District.
On Wednesday, mayoral candidate David Catania, an openly gay member of the D.C. Council, called on residents of the city to stand with students at Woodrow Wilson High School “in support of tolerance and respect.”
The Northwest D.C. school will host a Pride Day on June 4, welcoming more than 20 organizations with support and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students into its atrium for a midday event.
Five days later, the WBC is planning an anti-gay protest on the sidewalk outside the school, attempting to catch the attention of students as they arrive for morning classes.
“This generation cannot find wisdom at any of their institutions of elementary, secondary or post-secondary education,” organizers declared in a release posted to Westboro’s website on Sunday. The group is targeting Wilson for providing resources to gay students.
Last year, Wilson made history as the first public school in D.C. to have a pride celebration.
Catania spoke with the principal, faculty and students behind the second annual event and thanked them for their work. Some have announced plans to organize a peaceful counterprotest.
“As I told the students, they are reaffirming the District’s legacy of inclusiveness and respect,” he said in a release.
“This is the city where Mildred and Richard Loving sought refuge and the freedom to love the person of their choice when the state of Virginia barred them from marrying because of the difference in the color of their skin,” he continued, referring to the landmark civil rights decision that invalidated laws barring interracial marriage. “More recently, it is the same city that was at the forefront of the fight for Marriage Equality.”
Catania, a Republican-turned-independent who spent much of his childhood in Kansas, is urging D.C. residents to back the students against the protesters.
April 4, 2014
Democratic mayoral nominee Muriel Bowser was scheduled to make a Capitol Hill cameo on Friday, but the Ward 4 Councilmember never made it.
Despite the no-show, her name and her race against independent challenger David Catania, an at-large member of the D.C. Council and a former registered Republican, were on the lips of national members of the Democratic Party this week. Full story
April 2, 2014
Late Tuesday, on the top floor of a Pennsylvania Avenue bar near the Capitol, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells capped a speech to supporters of his failed mayoral bid with a call to action: “Onward!”
Wells’ third-place finish in the April 1 Democratic primary means the 57-year-old Southerner will be out of elected office at year’s end.
He credits his 2006 election with ushering in “the beginning of progressive Democrats in D.C.” and believes councilmembers he’s endorsed, including David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie and likely Ward 6 successor Charles Allen, formerly his chief of staff, will continue to work toward the shared goals of good government, smart growth and a city “where corporations are not the prime movers.”
“I think I have kicked off a progressive movement that may have, would have happened anyway,” Wells said in an election eve interview with CQ Roll Call at his Southeast D.C. campaign headquarters. “I’m just the person people gravitated to.” Full story
Ward 6 Democrats picked Charles Allen to replace his former boss, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, in Tuesday’s primary election.
Opponent Darrel Thompson, who resigned his post in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office to launch his campaign, officially conceded the race around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, with D.C. Board of Elections results showing Allen leading by fewer than 2,000 votes.
Wells applauded his former chief of staff around midnight, when Allen opened up a double-digit point lead in the race.
“I congratulate my opponent for a hard-fought nomination and hope to work with him to make sure that all of our neighborhoods receive the progress they deserve,” Thompson said in a Wednesday morning statement thanking his supporters.
Thompson’s concession came after a long, slow vote count that frustrated many election watchers. Full story
With “Uncle Earl” allegations looming large, D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray and six challengers to win the Democratic nomination for the District’s top political post.
Suggestions that Gray could be indicted in office on corruption charges stemming from his 2010 campaign surged support behind Bowser’s bid, and Gray conceded the race shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning.
Bowser took the stage in a Southeast D.C. charter school wearing a big smile and her signature green and gold campaign colors to thank supporters around 11:20 p.m. With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Bowser was ahead 44-34 percent. Full story
April 1, 2014
Polls depict the District’s mayoral primary as a two-candidate race between Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council Member Muriel Bowser.
The progressive Ward 6 council member, prefers to point to the results of the final televised debate of the race. When WUSA9 asked people to text the name of the candidate they thought won the debate, Wells was victorious with 42 percent of the nearly 4,000 viewers that responded.
Wells also mentions an informal online poll conducted by the Washington Business Journal, which had him winning 44 percent of the 1,534 votes cast. When neighborhood blog Prince of Petworth asked its readers who they would be voting for, Wells won — twice.
“Whenever it’s online, I win, and that’s because my supporters are very much of the new generation of social technology and social media,” Wells told CQ Roll Call on the eve of the April 1 primary.
Also promising in Wells’ opinion is an influx of late-in-the-race endorsements that his campaign deemed “endorse-a-palooza.”
“I’m second only to the sitting mayor in endorsements,” Wells told Hill Blotter.
His coalition includes traditional allies, like the D.C. police, firefighters, and EMS unions, plus the National Organization for Women. Carrying a bill to decriminalize pot possession helped earn Wells the endorsement of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Marijuana Policy Project. His vision for transit and affordable housing won him support from the smart growth advocates behind Greater, Greater Washington.
In the final 48 hours of the primary campaign, Wells also picked up some fresh endorsements from former supporters of Andy Shallal. As some progressives accepted the fact that the left-leaning owner of Busboys and Poets might be too much of a long shot, they threw their support behind Wells.
“Influence brokers” like former DC for Democracy President Keshini Ladduwahetty and activist Sam Jewler have pledged to use their online presence to sway followers to support Wells, he said.
While Bowser, Gray and other candidates were shaking hands and hosting get-out-the-vote rallies, Wells spent a few hours hanging out on Reddit. During an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, Wells addressed something nagging many undecided D.C. voters.
The question: “Many view voting for Bowser [as] the only way Gray can be defeated. What do you say to those voters that WANT to vote for you, but feel they are ‘wasting their vote’ by doing so — since you are 3rd?”
Wells said polls haven’t really reflected many “key factors in this election,” especially his recent endorsements. “In addition, polls don’t reflect the enormous strength of my Ward 6 base — which has far more Democratic voters than any other ward largely due to the 80,000 new residents who’ve moved here over the last four years.”
More than 80,000 new Democrats have registered to vote in D.C. since the 2010 mayoral primary, according to a broad collection of data amassed by the Washington Post.
Gray has “boxed himself in by relying so heavily” on the support of Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, a four-term mayor, Wells said. In effect, the mayor is “alienating many voters and making it impossible for him to increase his share of the vote.”
Wells said he’s confident months of calls and door-knocking have earned him the votes necessary to win. “We have the numbers; our job is now to get them to the polls.”
Polls close at 8 p.m. Check Hill Blotter for detailed results.
District voters registered as “no party” who turn out to the polls today may be offered the chance to cast a provisional ballot, but it probably won’t be counted.
Those who are not registered as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or D.C. Statehood Green Party member “wouldn’t be able to vote today,” D.C. Board of Elections spokeswoman Tamara L. Robinson said Tuesday.
The deadline to change party registration was March 4.
Local voters who wish to register or update their information can apply for same-day registration at their local polling place on primary day, but party changes are not allowed after the deadline. Registration applicants must present proof of residence, such as a driver’s license, paycheck, lease, utility bill or bank statement showing an address in the District.
All 143 polling precincts will be open until 8 p.m. tonight. Those who aren’t sure where to vote can find there location by entering their home address on the BOE site.
March 31, 2014
Mayor Vincent Gray quietly signed Washington, D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization measure on Monday, sending one of the nation’s most potent pot bills to Congress for review.
Gray received the measure, sponsored by mayoral candidate and Ward 6 D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, last week and signed the bill with little fanfare one day before the April 1 Democratic primary in which the two will face off.
“This is a victory for the District and a victory for justice,” Wells said in a statement. “This bill is a tremendous stride to end the disproportionate sociological and economic impact of marijuana arrests on African Americans – arrests that pull families apart and keep our residents from jobs, higher education and housing opportunities.” Full story
February 26, 2014
With little more than a month until the District’s April 1 primary election, endorsements are rolling in for the candidates vying to be the next mayor of the nation’s capital.
Incumbent Vincent Gray has scored support from five big labor groups, including the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Building Trades Council.
Gray’s leading challenger, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, gained the backing of EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for Democratic women in politics, as well as the influential endorsement of the Washington Post editorial board.
But, the latest winner has not yet entered the mayoral race. Full story