Loose Lips

Bowser Wins Her Home Ward’s Straw Poll, But Without Enough Votes for an Endorsement


At the end of last night's Ward 4 straw poll at Paul Public Charter School, newly minted Vince Gray campaign political director Steve Glaude walked over to Gray chief of staff Chris Murphy. It looked like Gray would only have enough votes to come in a close second, but in rival Muriel Bowser's home ward, they agreed, that was almost as good as a win.

That's one way to look at it. Another is that Bowser has now won both of the race's first two straw polls, pulling off an upset in Gray-friendly Ward 8 and preventing his campaign from orchestrating a similar defeat in her own ward. (The third take, of course, is that LL would be better off scrutinizing chicken entrails instead of the results of a ritualized count of 0.002 percent of District Democrats.)

Whatever you think of the straw poll (and Gray campaign manager Chuck Thies doesn't think much of it), Bowser did win, receiving 322 of the 652 ballots cast, compared to Gray's 223. Like in Ward 8, though, Bowser didn't receive 60 percent of the vote, meaning she won't receive the official endorsement of the Ward 4 Democrats.

Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal came in third with 33 votes, followed by Vincent Orange with 23 votes and Tommy Wells with 21 votes. Jack Evans and Reta Jo Lewis received 13 and 8 votes, respectively. Rapper and long-shot candidate Carlos Allen received zero votes, despite, as the Post's Aaron Davis noted, bringing his own bus.

The candidates' forum held during the poll featured a strident Gray pushing back on rivals' claims, based on reports of homeless families staying in Maryland hotels, that he's failed the city's disadvantaged. Gray blamed the councilmembers on the stage for the situation, accusing them of rejecting his administration's plans related to the distribution of rapid re-housing funds for homeless families.

"If you all don't vote for it, I want you to tell all these people why you didn't vote for it!" Gray said, raising his voice and shaking his finger at the mayoral hopefuls.

Gray tried his unique take on legislative relations again later, turning to glare at the councilmembers during his closing remarks. "I can do it if you give me the flexibility to be able to do it!" Gray said of his homelessness plan.

Bowser took on one of Evans' favorite topics: the transformation of the 14th Street NW area from a red light district into an open-air tapas bar. Evans, who reminded the crowd of 14th Street's former reputation, used the area as an example of the kind of development experience he would bring to Ward 4 if he was mayor.

"That's exactly what we don't want," Bowser shot back. "If you don't have $5,000 a month, you can't live on 14th Street."

After the straw poll votes were counted, various campaign types explained What It All Meant. Glaude attributed the loss—and his boss's 24-point decline in the ward straw poll since 2010, when he thumped Adrian Fenty in Fenty's home ward and received 59 percent of the vote—to the Bowser campaign having extra time to organize for the vote, since Gray only officially launched his campaign last month.

"To not allow the endorsement?" Glaude says. "It's good work."

Bowser, after finishing a victory chant of "Ward 4 wants a new mayor!", blamed her sub-60-percent finish on the number of candidates in the race.

"60 percent is a big number, but winning is a bigger number," Bowser says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • tony


    Need I tell you that none of that shit means anything to me. Apparently, they were weak because you're still breathing.

    Now go and count your lucky stars.

  • jarhead

    MzDino, Ma'm, I don't know anything about Freud, but I have heard about the Freudian slips.

    Is the last sentence in the last paragraph in comment#93 posted at 7:35 pm on 2.7.14 another Freudian slip by the imposter who admits that 'Street thugs throughout SE recognize my (his) SCARED face and fists and respect my (his) skills", really trying to say the skills that earned their respect was his ability to OUTRUN them like true Marines were chasing him?

    Jus Askin'!

  • schoolman

    @ Tony

    Now we have it .. do you care to tell the readers why my earlier comment "PACK YOUR SHIT" upset you so? Would you prefer to tell the readers who you are and what you do for the District government, or do you prefer that I do?
    Do you care to explain to the readers why you became so sensitive when I described how Blacks routinely abuse other Blacks "for a mere pat on the head" in the District Government.

    You know that I know who and what you are. I've been patient with you because I know the difficult position that you're. I know that your superior has required you to surrendered your dignity and self respect as a condition of your continued employment.

    You have occupied a position of "apparent" authority and
    allowed countless Black employees to be abused, mistreated, denied due process and yes, wrongfully terminated. Yet, you have the audacity to suggest that someone else may engage in similar conduct! You have the audacity to speak about Fenty's mistreatment of Blacks!
    You have the audacity to mention the struggle of Blacks
    as if you don't routinely play your role in the suppression and degradation of Black government employees. Please, give me break! If you keep running your mouth, I'm going to let the readers who you are and what you do.

    You are the very weak Black that I spoke about earlier ... you would watch the entire Black race perish as long as you are taken care of. So drop the tough guy routine! You and I both know that you're a coward. You're so concerned about this election for one reason and one reason only. You know that when Gray looses this election, you will likely either be out of a job or following your master to the private sector.

    Don't be angry with me. You've made your choice, now live with it.

    Government work was not designed to be this way. You shouldn't have to surrender your dignity and self-respect in order to hold a job.

    Earlier, you said that I lost. You are sadly mistaken - I am a man. I am free. My dignity is intact. Is yours?
    Obviously it isn't given your reaction. Your conscious is eating you alive. A rightfully so. There is no amount of money that would prompt me to perform the despicable acts you have performed. And yes, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    You know full well that you aren't a fraction of the man that I am.

  • tony

    Bowser/Fenty’s efforts to destroy D.C.’S black middle class have failed and they won’t get a second chance. I am confident that my folks understand the importance of saying "no" to the Bowser/Fenty’s “evil empire” on Election Day.

  • schoolman

    @ Tony:

    I agree that Fenty resorted to Draconian means to meet his desired end - a well equipped, well trained and well qualified workforce. In doing so, he sanctioned the District's systemic violations of the Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act (CMPA) designed to result in the appointment of the "best qualified" candidates. But his actions only resulted in increased patronage. Managers routinely circumvented objective evaluation tools in order to hire their friends, relatives, etc. His "better idea" was ineffective and backfired - his efforts actually resulted in a "less capable" workforce.

    To compensate for his error in judgment, he chose to emphasis LOYALTY. In other words, an employees success was not contingent upon his ability to perform his duties but rather, his LOYALTY to Fenty - this was intended to discourage employees from disclosing how poorly the District was actually being managed.

    He made a number of appointments to aid in his effort to impose strict adherence to his theme of LOYALTY. One such appointment was Allen Y. Lew to the position of D.C. City Administrator. Lew implemented low ball tactics he acquired while employed in various capacities for the City of New York.

    Mayor Gray didn't remove Lew when he won the 2010 election. Rather, he delegated Lew greater authority. Lew has managed the District's workforce like a brutal dictator. One of his primary objectives is to discourage District employees of disclosing how poorly the District is actually being managed.

    Apparently, Gray has failed to take into account that there are over 33,000 District employees. A majority of these employees are District residents and voters! I strongly believe that a vast majority of District employees will vote against Gray. Also, these employees have families, friends, etc. who will also be discouraged from supporting Gray. D.C. Department heads will likely support Gray because they have been appointed by him and their continued employment is contingent upon him being re-elected. But their numbers are few!

    I'm not a Bowser supporter. But I know that your effort to compare her, in her capacity as City Councilmember, to Fenty, in his capacity as Mayor, is ridiculous. DC voters are not that stupid Tony! But keep making that silly comparison. I assure you, its not serving Gray well.

  • schoolman

    @ JarHead:

    Who is Chesty Puller? What is a Devil-Dog? What is the
    "Sea Bag Drag?"

    @ Noodlez, @ JarHead;

    I'll be at the next straw poll. Steven Glaude knows me. Have him point me out for you! I'll have on a brown over coat and matching brown hat and a black turtle neck.