DC Mayor Vincent Gray defeated in Democratic primary

Rick Moran
Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray presided over the "Obama boom" in the capitol which brought a lot of monied interests to the city. But it wasn't enough to overcome a campaign finance scandal that surged around him as he was defeated soundly in the Democratic primary for mayor last night by city council member Muriel Bowser.

Reuters:

Gray conceded defeat around midnight EDT (0400 GMT). Final results had Bowser with 44 percent of the vote to Gray's 32 percent. Six candidates split the other votes.

"God bless you, and let's go to work," Bowser, a city council member for the past seven years, told cheering supporters.

In the November election, Bowser will face David Catania, an openly gay independent member of the city council who is seen as the strongest challenger. Catania is a former Republican who has backed progressive issues since leaving the party in 2004.

A Washington Post poll last week indicated Bowser would defeat Catania by 30 percentage points in a general election.

Polls had initially shown Bowser, who helped manage Adrian Fenty's successful 2006 mayoral campaign, in a tight race with Gray, who presided over an economic boom and surging population in the U.S. capital.

Gray's re-election campaign was dogged by questions stemming from the financing of his 2010 primary victory over Fenty. Three of his former officials have pleaded guilty to federal campaign financing charges.

Gray, 71, had seen his lead over Bowser vanish since Washington businessman Jeffrey Thompson, a former government contractor, pleaded guilty three weeks ago to violating campaign finance laws.

Federal prosecutors had accused Thompson of aiding Gray through a "shadow campaign" that funneled more than $660,000 through friends and relatives to Gray's 2010 election effort.

Gray, the former head of the city's Human Services Department, has denied any wrongdoing.

Voters said on Tuesday the allegations swirling around Gray were a major factor in the election.

The Washington Times reported last month that the same bundler who ran the "shadow" campaign for Gray, also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008:

Jeffrey E. Thompson’s scheme included diverting more than $608,000 in illicit funds to a New York marketing executive, Troy White, who organized “street teams” to raise Mrs. Clinton’s visibility in urban areas during her Democratic primary battle against Barack Obama. Mr. White pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case.

Prosecutors said that from February to May 2008, Thompson used two firms to disburse $608,750 in “excessive and unreported contributions to pay for campaign services in coordination with and in support of a federal political candidate for president of the United States and the federal and the candidate’s authorized committee.” That candidate was Mrs. Clinton.

Gray is another in a long line of corrupt mayors of our nation's capitol. Will a woman do any better? Bowser has done little to set herself apart from the political culture in the city so it seems almost inevitable that scandal will follow her tenure as well.

 

Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray presided over the "Obama boom" in the capitol which brought a lot of monied interests to the city. But it wasn't enough to overcome a campaign finance scandal that surged around him as he was defeated soundly in the Democratic primary for mayor last night by city council member Muriel Bowser.

Reuters:

Gray conceded defeat around midnight EDT (0400 GMT). Final results had Bowser with 44 percent of the vote to Gray's 32 percent. Six candidates split the other votes.

"God bless you, and let's go to work," Bowser, a city council member for the past seven years, told cheering supporters.

In the November election, Bowser will face David Catania, an openly gay independent member of the city council who is seen as the strongest challenger. Catania is a former Republican who has backed progressive issues since leaving the party in 2004.

A Washington Post poll last week indicated Bowser would defeat Catania by 30 percentage points in a general election.

Polls had initially shown Bowser, who helped manage Adrian Fenty's successful 2006 mayoral campaign, in a tight race with Gray, who presided over an economic boom and surging population in the U.S. capital.

Gray's re-election campaign was dogged by questions stemming from the financing of his 2010 primary victory over Fenty. Three of his former officials have pleaded guilty to federal campaign financing charges.

Gray, 71, had seen his lead over Bowser vanish since Washington businessman Jeffrey Thompson, a former government contractor, pleaded guilty three weeks ago to violating campaign finance laws.

Federal prosecutors had accused Thompson of aiding Gray through a "shadow campaign" that funneled more than $660,000 through friends and relatives to Gray's 2010 election effort.

Gray, the former head of the city's Human Services Department, has denied any wrongdoing.

Voters said on Tuesday the allegations swirling around Gray were a major factor in the election.

The Washington Times reported last month that the same bundler who ran the "shadow" campaign for Gray, also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008:

Jeffrey E. Thompson’s scheme included diverting more than $608,000 in illicit funds to a New York marketing executive, Troy White, who organized “street teams” to raise Mrs. Clinton’s visibility in urban areas during her Democratic primary battle against Barack Obama. Mr. White pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case.

Prosecutors said that from February to May 2008, Thompson used two firms to disburse $608,750 in “excessive and unreported contributions to pay for campaign services in coordination with and in support of a federal political candidate for president of the United States and the federal and the candidate’s authorized committee.” That candidate was Mrs. Clinton.

Gray is another in a long line of corrupt mayors of our nation's capitol. Will a woman do any better? Bowser has done little to set herself apart from the political culture in the city so it seems almost inevitable that scandal will follow her tenure as well.