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Bowser Gains Washington Post Endorsement

Muriel Bowser has served on the D.C. Council since 2008.
WAMU/Jared Angle
Muriel Bowser has served on the D.C. Council since 2008.

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) has been endorsed by The Washington Post in her bid to unseat Mayor Vincent Gray.

In an editorial published today, the Post calls Bowser a "thoughtful and pragmatic lawmaker" and says that she would be "a force for continued progress — in economic development, public safety and education — while working to help people and neighborhoods that might otherwise be left behind."

The editorial board, which has criticized Gray in the past for the federal investigation that continues against him for his troubled 2010 campaign, repeats those concerns, saying that Gray has not adequately answered questions regarding the $653,000 shadow campaign that was waged on his behalf by D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson.

"Mr. Gray has been unwilling to discuss his activities or knowledge in any detail. He has declined to meet with federal investigators. Only when he decided to seek reelection did he offer any apology, and then he urged the city to move on," says the editorial.

The editorial dismisses three outside contenders — former State Department official Reta Jo Lewis, restaurant owner Andy Shallal and musician Carlos Allen — as inexperienced, and says that three of Bowser's colleagues also in the running fall short:

  • On Tommy Wells (D- Ward 6): "Mr. Wells brings refreshing passion to the subject of government ethics, but his talk of a walkable, livable city is more slogan than course of action for the District."
  • Vincent Orange (D-At Large): "Mr. Orange understands the needs of struggling neighborhoods but has shown questionable judgment, wavering principles and a troubling tendency to demagogue issues."
  • Jack Evans (D-Ward 2): "We believe, though, that he is lacking in a robust vision that speaks to all the needs of this changing city. He speaks with more passion about what he has accomplished than what he would do."

A Post poll published in January found Gray leading all contenders with 24 percent, while Bowser came in second at 12 percent. An internal poll done by Bowser's campaign claimed that she was much closer, trailing Gray 20 to 18.

While Bowser was quick to celebrate the endorsement, Chuck Thies, Gray's campaign manager, took to Twitter to lambast the newspaper, saying it had a losing record in picking winners.

"The [Post] is 0-5 in recent, meaningful citywide election endorsements. Add the Republicans they endorsed in ward races, that's 0-7," he tweeted.

Early voting for the D.C. primary starts on March 17, and the primary will be held on April 1. WAMU 88.5 is hosting a debate between the mayoral contenders on February 26; the debate will be aired live. If you have any questions for the candidates, submit them here.

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