D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray defeated current Washington, D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary mayoral race yesterday.
With no one in the Republican Party to oppose him in the general election in November, Vincent Gray will become the next mayor of Washington, D.C. He will also become the oldest mayor elected in D.C.
By Tim Craig and Nikita Stewart
Wednesday, September 15, 2010; 2:45 AM
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray won the Democratic nomination for mayor early Wednesday. With nearly all returns counted, voters rejected incumbent Adrian M. Fenty’s hard-charging style in favor of promises of a new, conciliatory approach to governing a fast-changing city.
Gray won with 59,285 votes to Fenty’s 50,850. A few precincts’ results had not been counted at 1:40 a.m., but elections officials said they could not change the outcome.
“We know that we will be celebrating a very big victory very soon,” Jonice Gray Tucker, Gray’s daughter, told the crowd at her father’s party shortly before midnight.
Fenty, the youngest mayor in the four decades of home rule, drew national accolades for his efforts to reform schools; oversaw a dramatic decline in the homicide rate; and led a successful drive to build neighborhood amenities such as recreational centers, dog parks and athletic fields.
Fenty appeared before supporters at 1:18 a.m., refusing to concede and rallying his troops with a battle cry of “On to victory.”
Gray, 67, who spent most of his career leading local nonprofit organizations, has soared swiftly through the ranks of the city’s political establishment. A former executive director of the Association of Retarded Citizens and Covenant House Washington, he was elected to the council by Ward 7 voters in 2004. After only two years in that job, he waged a successful campaign for chairman. Although he was expected to cruise to easy reelection this year, Gray decided in late March to enter the mayor’s race, even though he faced an uphill fight against a well-funded, telegenic mayor who boasted of a long list of achievements.
I read about Mayor Fenty’s arrogance. But seeing is believing:
While Gray mulled over his future, Fenty continued to be dogged by bad publicity. After a record-breaking snowstorm over the first weekend in February, Fenty initially pushed to open schools and city government on Monday morning, enraging some parents and city employees.
A few days later, when WRC-TV anchor Eun Yang asked Fenty when the snow would finally be cleared from city streets, the mayor snapped that the question “doesn’t make any sense.” The snow would be gone, he said, when “the temperature gets warm enough that it can melt.”
When the temperature gets warm enough that it can melt? WTF kind of response is that? I wonder if Eun Yang gave him the side eye 😉
According to TBD, Mayor Fenty conceded to Vincent Gray this morning.
The telephonic stalemate had legs, too. Last night, even after most news organizations had called the race for Gray, the mayor apparently couldn’t bring himself to dial Gray’s number.
The two finally connected this morning, with Fenty doing the dialing. Both pledged to continue that connection and work toward a smooth transition in D.C.’s executive branch. Gray even suggested the mayor might be prepared for their first sit-down, face-to-face meeting in months.
Check out the article and the Vincent Gray press conference at TBD.com.