Incumbent Muriel Bowser withstood the challenge of her leadership and emerged victorious as the Democratic candidate for DC Mayor See DC Primary Election Results.
Incumbent Muriel Bowser withstood the challenge to her leadership and emerged victorious as the Democratic candidate for DC mayor
Bowser effectively began his third term on Tuesday – a feat managed only by predecessor Marion Barry, dubbed “mayor for life”.
In DC in deep blue, the winner of the Democratic primary is virtually guaranteed to have the seat. Bowser’s victory will be locked in November, when voters cut the ballot between her and Republican candidate Stacia Hall.
In her speech to fans Tuesday night, Bowser said she was “humbled and grateful” to be selected for the third time. She recalled the words of Barry, who told her that it takes courage to be mayor of the District of Columbia.
She counted his accomplishments as mayor, including his efforts to build more affordable housing and reduce homelessness. She also looked to the future.
“We are going to build a state-of-the-art hospital. And we know that even with all that we’ve accomplished, our city is in precious time, right? And we need energy and experience to come back from COVID. So tonight, we’re choosing a future where we don’t lose our ‘Chocolate City’; we will continue to be a city where black Washingtonians thrive,” Bowser said.
Bowser said she looks forward to working with the other shortlisted nominees, including board chairman Phil Mendelson and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the incumbents who both won their primaries.
“We know elections are tough, right? There is a competition for ideas, isn’t there? And when we have a good election season, we have a lot of good ideas,” she said.
Bowser edged out Council Members Robert White and Trayon White, who she said both called to congratulate her on her victory, and businessman James Butler.
Another “mayor for life”?
If Bowser wins the general election, she would be the second mayor to win three consecutive terms, tied with Barry, who served as city president continuously from 1979 to 1991.
During her second term, Bowser clashed with former President Donald Trump, perhaps most visibly when she named the section of Northwest 16th Street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza.” It came after Trump posed for a photo outside St. John’s Episcopal Church in 2020, clearing the crowd of people protesting the killing of George Floyd.
With her second term — marked by the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump presidency and runaway gentrification — behind her, she is tackling the problem of spiraling homicide and violent crime rates. There’s also the matter of DC’s statehood, which Bowser alluded to on Tuesday night. Last year, the US Senate held a historic hearing on DC’s statehood.
Crime and public safety dominated the mayoral campaign. Homicides have risen for four straight years and the 2021 murder count of 227 was the highest since 2003, the Associated Press reported.
As activists called for defunding the police, Bowser largely supported his police department. Pro-police with a tough stance on crime, she butted heads at DC Council members, saying they didn’t fully support her proposal for more police.
Robert White told the OMCP that there needs to be an audit to understand how many police are needed and where.
“Just suggesting we need more police is not a plan, so we need to know how many police we need in our city and where we need them,” Robert White said.
Trayon White had a similar message, saying earlier this month that there was a need for police but it was not the “ultimate solution”.
DC Delegate, Attorney General and Board Results
The Democrats were the only party with primary races; all other party candidates ran unopposed. The winner of the Democratic primary is the favorite in November’s general election in the heavily Democratic city.
Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton was the predicted winner for congressional delegate. She was with Bowser’s team Tuesday night. Norton has been the DC delegate since 1991, and she will face Republican Nelson Rimensnyder.
For the DC Council chairman, Mendelson was the predicted winner of the Democratic race, beating challenger Erin Palmer. He will face Republican Nate Derenge in November.
In council races, Zachary Parker was the predicted winner in Ward 5, beating several rivals for the seat vacated by Kenyan McDuffie, who did not stand for re-election. Clarence Lee is the Republican candidate for Ward 5.
Ward 1 incumbent Brianne Nadeau retained her nomination, beating out Salah Czapary and Sabel Harris. No Republican is running in Nadeau’s race.
The Democratic nominee for Ward 6 councilman Charles Allen was unopposed and was also projected as the winner of the party.
Before the DC Attorney General race was called for Brian Schwalb, Bruce Spiva conceded the race on Tuesday night. It was Spiva who challenged Kenyan McDuffie’s candidacy for DC’s attorney general. McDuffie then suspended his campaign.
Schwalb thanked DC voters, and said, “This is a victory for the people of Washington.” He said his “new approach” resonated with people.
“I think Washington, DC just appreciated the fact that I was just there trying to listen to them and hanging out in every neighborhood and every neighborhood, using two ears to listen to the people of the community. What they like about our city, what they would like to see our government do,” Schwalb told WTOP.
Early Wednesday morning, the projected winner for At-Large member of the DC Council was called for Anita Bonds, who will face Republican Giuseppe Niosi in November.
Matt Frumin, who ran for Mary Cheh’s Ward 3 council outgoing race, declared victory Wednesday after obtaining 38% of the vote. Éric Goulet, who obtained the second highest vote total with 31%, conceded the race just before midnight.
Once confirmed as the primary winner, Frumin will face Republican David Krucoff, who ran unopposed.
Finally, Ghost Representative Oye Owolewa is challenged by Linda L. Gray.
OMCP’s Will Vitka and The Associated Press contributed to this report.