In the race for mayor is in its final stretch! The general election is Tuesday, November 4th and the race that began with over seven (7) candidates is now down to three (3). Councilmembers Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and David Catania (I-At-Large) are the two top contenders with former Councilmember Carol Schwartz (I) trailing behind both candidates in the polls. According to a poll conducted by NBC4/Washington Post/Marist, Bowser leads with 43 percent of the vote, Catania follows with 26 percent and Schwartz is expected to receive only 17 percent. Those numbers do not account for the remaining 14 percent of undecided voters. However, split between the three candidates, this percentage would not be enough to close the gap.
Bowser has shown that she can ride the wave of the sometimes-uncertain political electorate of District voters. Bowser launched her campaign for mayor eighteen (18) months ago when no other candidate had then declared. Almost immediately she began going door-to-door speaking with District voters across the city in every ward- launching her “DC Proud” campaign; a motto that has resonated with voters.
Not well known outside of her home base- Ward 4, BoBowser was considered an underdog in the race, not well known outside of her home Ward 4. She began taking her message across each ward working hard to win over voters. Strategically she set up small teams in each ward, first tasked with building momentum and support and eventually tackling the upcoming ward and or civic association straw polls. She won her first major straw poll in Ward 8, beating out incumbent Mayor Gray in his backyard. This was a major milestone for Bowser who showed, by the win, that she could connect with voters East of the Anacostia River, and showed she could begin to move in on Gray’s stronghold.
From there her momentum began to pick up and again she won another major straw poll in Ward 4. With that win she had shown that she is not just a one-ward candidate, but a viable contender for the city’s top job- Mayor of the District of Columbia! With the Washington Post’s endorsement, Bowser was well on her way to winning the primary election- and she did with 43 percent of the vote!
In late September, ahead of the first post-primary mayoral debate, Bowser released her platform and vision for the city. In it she lays out several new initiatives she will tackle, i.e. new plans for public safety and transportation, re-addressing the school boundaries discussion and implementing an affordable housing plan. In a recent Ward 7 town hall meeting she also spoke about other new programs she will initiate: (1) a General Services Academy, which will allow District residents to pursue jobs that become open in the city government, (2) a DC First Program that will focus on helping grow small businesses across the city; and (3) a Corridor Improvement Program that will help beautify streets and avenues across the city. Further, Bowser has made the affordable housing debate a key component of her plans for the city. As Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, she authored legislation dedicating no less than $100 million per year to the production of new affordable housing units and co-authored a bill mandating that 30% of all new residential units become affordable.
Bowser has received endorsements from seven (7) of her colleagues on the Council-Yvette Alexander [D-Ward 7], Marion Barry [D-Ward 8], Anita Bonds [D-At-Large], Jack Evans [D-Ward 2], Kenyan McDuffie [D-Ward 5], Vincent Orange [D-At-Large] and Tommy Wells [D-Ward 6].
Additionally Bowser has been endorsed by organized labor, which includes the District of Columbia Electrical Association - District of Columbia Firefighters Association - National Association of Government Employees local R3-05 - AFSCME Local 20 - Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO - Washington DC Fire Fighters Association, Local 36. Even more, Bowser has captioned key target groups and focused on their issues through sponsorship and participation in events centered on women, youth, LGBT and returning citizens to name a few. She’s also received endorsements from some organizations with these specific focuses- like Emily’s List, the Women’s Campaign Fund, the Stein Club and the DC National Organization for Women.
The Capital News believes that Bowser is the best choice for the citizens of the District of Columbia and deserves to be elected mayor. We believe her ability to pull together so many groups of people from across the city in a bipartisan fashion is a testament to how she will serve as mayor and lead this city forward. She has shown through her numerous endorsements and her outreach that she is able to connect with voters across all of the eight (8) wards. Throughout her campaign she has focused on issues that will improve the city, instead of attacking individuals about their choice for mayor. We believe her commitment to add a Deputy Mayor for East of the River is a further testament to the fortitude she will bring to the mayoral seat. Additionally, her commitment to advancing the economic stimulus, through initiatives focusing on small business growth and job training and development for District residents, is what the city needs. Therefore, for us, Muriel Bowser is the clear choice!