As expected, Hillary Clinton thrashed Bernie Sanders in the DC Democratic primary on Tuesday. Another woman, however, didn’t have such a good night. Mayor Muriel Bowser saw three of her closest allies on the City Council go down to defeat.
Three of the mayor’s most reliable allies on the D.C. Council lost their seats in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, delivering a major setback to Bowser (D) about halfway through her first term in office.
One of the likely incoming council members poses a particular threat to Bowser: former mayor Vincent C. Gray, who returns to public office as a critic and counterweight to Bowser and has not ruled out the possibility of running against her in 2018.
The election has rattled the political hierarchy in a city that has seen dramatic economic and demographic shifts in the past decade. Young, affluent residents have poured into the District, and real estate prices have soared, while homelessness has reached crisis levels and violent crime has surged.
Gray handily beat D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D) Tuesday, but that outcome was widely expected, given Gray’s long-standing popularity in the city’s easternmost ward. The bigger surprise for Bowser was the defeat of two other incumbents who consistently backed her on the council: veteran lawmaker Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large) and newcomer LaRuby May (D-Ward 8).
Vincent Gray will run for mayor in 2018. Bet on it. And he won’t be the only one. There’s blood in the water after Tuesday night, and the wolves will be circling. Gonna be an interesting two years in the nation’s capital.