After an endorsement from the Washington Post, DC Councilmember Muriel Bowser may be the leading challenger to incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray in his re-election campaign.
With nine candidates running in the April 1 primary, one big question is whether people unhappy with the Mayor will now start to coalesce around Bowser.
The Post editorial board says Gray's "refusal to be forthcoming" on some questions about the 2010 shadow campaign is, "close to disqualifying." Four of his campaign aides have pleaded guilty to felonies.
It is hard to know how much pull the Post has, but the Mayor sure is not happy about continuing questions about the continuing investigation. "Did you know anything about the shadow campaign?" I asked him. "I have already answered that question 100 times Bruce. 101. Ok," he said, waving his finger and walking away from the camera before coming back to say, "Let's turn this into something positive rather than just continue with the negativity, ok?"
The Mayor has apologized and answered some questions. "Nobody knew about it," he told WUSA9's Bruce Johnson before announcing he would run.
But the Washington Post editorial board said that was not enough.
"What we know is that an incumbent mayor is neck and neck with a Ward Four councilmember," Bowser said. "And there is only room for us to grow for the next 38 days."
A Washington Post poll last month suggested Bowser had just 12% of the vote. The Mayor had twice the support, but with about 24% of the voters, was far from invincible. And more than half the voters also said Gray's campaign finance scandal would factor into their decision.
"I'm not the prosecutor, judge or jury. But I know when four people go to jail surrounding a campaign, the US Attorney continues to be active, it's not over," said Bowser.