Who Can Win? What the Mayoral Race Says About the City

by Borderstan.com June 5, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,044 2 Comments

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.

Given Mayor Vincent Gray’s legal troubles and Chairman of the Council Kwame Brown still under investigation, it seems to have created an open field for the Mayor’s seat. Or so the The Washington Post would have you believe.

"DC Wilson Building"

The Wilson Building is home to the DC Government. (D.C. Council website.)

It seems they believe the leading contenders — noted, this means those that have taken steps to consider a bid, not their endorsement — may be Muriel Bowser, an African-American Washingtonian in her second term as Councilmember of Ward 4; long-time Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2) and Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6). Ward 2 includes the Dupont and Logan neighborhoods.

When asked about possible mayoral aspirations, Evans’ office provided the following statement from the Ward 2 councilmember: “Right now, I remain focused on Ward 2 and the work of the Committee on Finance and Revenue. Like most elected officials, I always aspire to higher office and if an opportunity were to present itself, I would certainly consider it.”

What is notable about that list is not that all are sitting councilmembers; it’s that two of the three are white. DC has had an African American mayor since ‘home rule’ — when DC was allowed to begin governing itself in the 1970s — and it seems this could possibly be the election to break that streak.

Washington City Paper seems less than satisfied with the list of prospective candidates posed by the Post in their comment, “yeesh.” The city’s demographic trends make a strong white candidate a distinct possibility. We will all have to see who emerges as the front-runner to take hold of a fractious council and ongoing budget turmoil.

What a lucky person they will be, regardless of pigmentation! All kidding aside, the district is changing in demographics, income and goals. The next mayor will have a large hand in the path forward and in defining what direction counts as forward. Read up and get engaged, already.

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