Challenger Bowser Defeats Incumbent DC Mayor Gray

Image: Challenger Bowser Defeats Incumbent DC Mayor Gray

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 06:19 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Muriel Bowser, a City Council member, defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray in the District of Columbia's Democratic mayoral primary, The New York Times reported.

With most electoral districts reporting, Bowser had a 44 percent to 33 percent lead over Gray, garnering some 36,000 votes to the mayor's 26,000, the Times reported.

Gray's lead was upended when Jeffrey Thompson, a contributor to his earlier mayoral campaign, pleaded guilty to having illegally funneled $700,000 into the mayor's 2010 campaign coffers. Thompson implicated Gray, but the mayor said he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Bowser, 41, said she would offer Washington a "fresh start." Her intensive door-to-door campaign focused on Gray's ethics. She promised that as mayor, she would balance the fears of veteran residents concerned about housing prices, with the needs of newcomers and developers, who are gentrifying the city, according to the Times.

Gray, 71, will remain in office until 2015. In his concession speech he said, "If I'm going to be in this job another nine months, I'm going to work extremely hard in order to move this city forward."

Gray was endorsed by former Mayor Marion Barry now a city council member.

Some 75 percent of the district's registered voters are Democrats. The Associated Press reported that independent District City Council member David Catania, 46, a former Republican, planned to challenger Bowser in November.

Catania, who is white, would be facing an uphill battle. The district has only elected African Americans as mayor over its 40 years of self-rule.

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