Key Fenty Supporter Judith Terra Is ‘Keeping Options Open’ for 2010
A juicy little nugget was nestled in the Washington Post's Reliable Source column this morning: D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray was spotted dining in Georgetown Saturday with Virginia Hayes Williams (mother of ex-mayor Tony) and socialite and philanthropist Judith Terra.
Terra's name lands with a thud—she, after all, was one of Fenty's earliest supporters, hosting fundraisers for him at her mansion, dubbed White Oak. She said of Fenty in
2006 2005, "[T]here are just times when you come across individuals…that you know are destined to do great things. I felt that way when I met Martin Luther King Jr. in 2005 1960. He just walked into the room and mesmerized the room. And Adrian is very much that way."
Could Terra have turned on her chosen one?
LL asked Terra this afternoon about the weekend rendezvous with Gray, and what it indicates: "I think it indicates that I really wanted to get a sense of the man," she said. "I think he's remarkable. I think, like everybody in the city, have been watching how he's been handling things as chairman of the council, and I've been very impressed."
Any issues in particular that Gray's handled well? "I'd rather not answer that at the moment," Terra says.
LL proceeded to inquire as to whether her ardor for Citizen Fenty has cooled since 2006: "I think he's a good man...but I want to keep my options open in terms of what's best for the city and its people...but I do want to see this city become a shining city on a hill, as they say."
Notably, Terra also has yet to make a donation to Fenty's 2010 campaign—let alone host a fundraiser for him. An early Terra-hosted event for Fenty raised $35,000 for his nascent campaign in 2005; these days, with more than $3 million in the bank, that would be a drop in the bucket for Hizzoner. Still, Terra's defection would indicate a embarrassing crack in the Ward 4 base that launched Fenty to two council terms and the mayoralty.
Moreover, Terra's embrace of the 67-year-old Gray would counter her record of supporting young up-and-comers. (She's also hosted events for fresh-faced council candidates Adam Clampitt and Clark Ray.)
Terra declined to get into any specifics about the mayor's performance. "I feel very positive in terms of what I want to see happen to this city and its people," she said. "I just would like to see one city that's working together, and we can really make it happen."
Hmm, "one city." Isn't that Gray's political motto?
"Exactly," Terra said. "It appeals to me very much."
Photo of Terra by Darrow Montgomery