Friday Question of the Day – 2014 Mayoral Election – Who Will You Vote For?

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

Earlier in the week the Post released a poll about the 2014 mayoral election (among other topics.) So I’m wondering how PoPville currently stands?

If the final pairing ended up being Vince Gray vs. David Catania who would you vote for?

97 Comment

  • I’d be happy with either Shallal or Catania. The rest of the slate should by retitled “Who’s The Biggest Loser?”
    Having an independent as mayor would be good for the city. And I say that as a die-hard Democratic.

  • You all realize that Catania is just a few years removed from being a Republican, right? I suppose people in DC are a little more conservative than I give them credit for.

    • Yea, I’m somewhat puzzled by the Shallal/Catania voter above. Seems like they have very different priorities.

    • Consider the demographics here. White and affluent. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that there is plenty of conservatism here, even if it is on the down low.

    • Catania is not very republican by today’s standards. He is liberal on social issues. He is more fiscally conservative than his colleagues, but he is hardly a slash-and-burn-the-budget tea partier. If it comes down to Gray vs. Catania, I will vote for Catania.

    • I’ve always voted D, sometimes straight ticket. But this town needs a shakeup, not more of the same entrenched cronyism. So I’d consider voting for a republican for DC mayor (or any local office), knowing that he wouldn’t be able to get away with any of the party’s scary social agenda.

  • Can somebody explain to me why the would NOT vote for Tommy Wells in this field of candidates?

    • Agreed! I’m really hoping he pulls this off.

    • I don’t have a visceral distaste for black people.

    • Because I’m voting for Jack Evans in that field of candidates.

    • Tommy Wells is essentially a Portlandia character, with little apparent substance or long-term goals, aside from pandering and some good buzzwords that people lap up. If you ever get the chance to talk to him, ask him a question about the budget; his face will turn blank. And, aside from the bag tax and a few pre-election initiatives, I’m not sure what he’s accomplished as a councilman for the past ~8 years. If that’s any indication of his capability, there are better candidates.

      • Portlandia. This is a perfect description. Thank you!

      • What are you talking about? Have you read the Issues sections of the other candidates? Wells is the only candidate with a specific platform that has policy details.

        And as far as accomplishments thus far? You do realize that marijuana decriminalization is Tommy’s initiative, right? And ban the box? These initiatives will do more to address injustices in our employment system that keep African-Americans and returning citizens away from jobs than any DC initiative in, like, forever.

        • “Ban the Box” and marijuana decriminalization are both recent; as in, after he announced he’s running for mayor. And, they haven’t been passed yet into law. What’s the done the past 7 yrs?

          • He only recently got the Judiciary Cmte which is how he’s able to move these bills.

            Remember when he was stripped of the Transportation and Public Works cmte by Kwame Brown for doing a report on Brown’s SUVs? Remember that every CM, including Evans and Bowser, voted in favor of that?

      • I am not sure you know Tommy at all. Every time I have even been around Tommy Wells he has been full of ideas, and perspectives on how we can move the city forward and every resident with it. He is a thinking and he clearly has a vision. You really should go out more and really listen to his message.

        He is not influenced by Corporate contributions. He is a neighborhood kind of guy and he wants us all to communicate. He is open minded, and transparent in his quest to get things accomplished.

        I beg you to really spend an evening or two and get out and hear him speak. Ask him a question or two and then perhaps you can fairly change your opinion.

    • It’s clear we need a moral ethical government. Tommy Wells is the only one who has made a commitment to doing that by refusing to take corporate money.

      • OK, that’s great and all, but what are his plans to run the city? How will he run the city differently than anyone else in the race?

        • He plans to strengthen a network of neighborhood schools, create stronger mixed-use neighborhoods connected by increased transportation options. Create a DC Department of Labor to coordinate the often disparate labor-enforcement functions of the city government (which currently are a MAZE for workers to navigate/enter and take for ever to resolve claims).

          • So, he wants to increase transit. That’s great and all, but does he need to be mayor to do that? Couldn’t he achieve that as a councilman (i.e.: like when he was chair of the transportation committee?)?

      • That’s a campaign promise about his campaign, not a plan or policy for the city’s governance.

    • Isn’t it instead your obligation to explain why anybody should?

    • I agree with Tommy Wells on many issues. But I won’t vote for him because he is on record supporting neighborhood preference for charter schools. To my mind, would be a completely wrongheaded and counterproductive policy.

    • Because he seem to be no better than his predecessor Sharon Ambrose.

  • Seriously…anyone “but” Gray.

    How any educated and informed resident of the District of Columbia could possibly ever consider, even for the briefest of milliseconds, voting for that man again is beyond me.

    The man personally, handpicked his campaign team. They were all his life long friends and collegues, people he has known for decades (and the rest of us knew to be shady from their past run ins with the law)

    All of them (and a half dozen of their kids who also had been given jobs they too weren’t remotely qualified for) quit in embarrassment within the first 6 months, 4 of them having taken federal plea deals and or turned states evidence against him, and publically admitting the books were cooked and the whole team was in on it. He was carried into office amidst the largest mayoral shadow campaign in the history of the United States and we are talking about a second term?

    There are two options. The first is that Gray knew about it, despite the protestations of his $1,000 dollar an hour legal team, or option two, he really didn’t know what the dozen life-long close friends and collegues (including the guy funding the entire enterprise), handpicked to run his campaign were doing the entire time.

    Option 1, Gray is the felon many long-timers in DC knew him to be, or Option 2 means he is the absolute worst, most out of touch, mind numbingly daft manager and judge of character since…ever.

    Oh, then we have the ever enjoyable low rent Sulimon Brown who Gray clearly knew (txt messages from Grays personal phone) was on the campaign payroll (literally, he got paid) and gave him a six figure city job he was zipcodes away from being qualified for as reward so DC taxpayers could foot the bill for his “pay for play” scheme…until it blew up in his face. Watching an episode of Jerry Springer was less galling than having Gray put the city through that crap.

    Economically, the District is and has been on cruise control for more than a decade. Our fortunes are tied to the Federal government more than ever, which has been a boon for the District. Point is, Gray (nor Fenty) can take credit for one budget surplus dollar, or one additional resident who moved here. Every positive accomplishment (economically) would have occurred regardless of who was Mayor.

    I seriously haven’t been as embarrassed to be a resident of the District of Columbia since Barry won his mayoral reelection after serving time. I thought that would be my embarrassment low point in the District, but Gray sprinted beyond it.

    A vote for Gray is a vote for the lowest possible common denominator and nothing he has said or done since his disasterously embarrassing first year in office could ever possibly wipe the slate clean.

    • Amen reverend… Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Gray’s only hope is complete and utter ignorance of the facts surrounding his previous campaign. I’m actually somewhat surprised that he’s running at all – although I guess if he did not run again he would be effectively implicating himself in prior wrongdoing.

      • The unfortunate reality is that it doesn’t matter who among this field of candidates ends up running against Gray, he will still eek out the win.

        DC has changed a lot the past 10 years, it’s demographics completely different but the reality is the city is still populated by an enormous bloc of the most racist, criminally enabling people this side of the Mississippi. People who think being a felon, or under indictment, or having run a major criminal enterprise is a badge of honor.

        We know from past polls on POP that the demo of the poster here is young < 35, educated and employed, but as many of those people have moved in recently, there are still more who aren't and won't think twice about voting for Gray.

        • I’d just like to point out there are a LOT. As in MANY progressive white educated young residents who supported Gray the last time around. I never understood how anyone could pick him over Fenty. But it happened and it was not just because of votes east of the Anacostia. My hope is that most of my friends who supported Gray have since seen the light.

          • Then there are white progessives like me who voted for Fenty but think Gray has done an admirable job as mayor.

            Not sure if I’ll vote for him, but I would not be suprrised if a large number of people vote for him simply because the city has been cruising along fine the past few years.

          • People will reelect Grey as long as they are still bagging tons of equity on their home. As long as the DC economy doesn’t crater before the election, he will probably cruise to a plurality victory with 35% of the vote. Too many other candidates will divide the Democratic field.

          • Duponter- You should read the Washington Post article “How Adrian Fenty lost his reelection bid for DC mayor”.

        • You do know that most of the subculture that thinks “being a felon, or under indictment, or having run a major criminal enterprise is a badge of honor “, is largely disenfranchised and disinterested in voting. There is not a lot of felons and persons under indictment registering to vote and running to the polls.

          • Then how exactly does Marion Barry keep getting elected? I think you underestimate just how many folks of that demographic vote. From the most recent election numbers, quite a few.

    • The 2010 election is why I won’t vote for Gray. I disagree about your economic cruise control theory, however. Williams, Fenty, and Gray made positive changes to the way the city is run that made people actually want to live here. As much as I dislike Gray, I have to admit that he has been a competent manager, which is more than I would expect from some of the candidates. If, for example, it comes down to a choice between Gray and Orange, I will vote for Gray.

      • It really is a shame, as Gray has been an effectual mayor and I like a lot of the things he’s done. The worst part is that he didn’t even NEED to run an illegal campaign, as he would have won regardless.

    • Well Olivia, Cyrus, and Mellie helped pull of Defiance and Fitz didn’t know, so I guess it’s possible? Oh wait. That’s something else.

    • However, when it comes to jobs, business development, the budget, and actually running the city, Gray’s done a decent job.

      • Agreed. I don’t like Grey, but as long as housing prices keep going up, owners will stay happy. No one wants to rock the boat.

    • Better a competent crook like Gray than an incompetent like Bowser.

  • Okay so it looks like Tommy Wells is the most popular in PoPville so far. Can one of his supporters please summarize how he’s earned your support?

    • I live in Ward 6 and Tommy Wells gets. it. done. He is there and he listens and he’s genuinely committed to creating a livable, walkable, family-oriented city. He’s the only candidate in this entire field that isn’t taking money from corporations, having taken a pledge to only take money from individuals and to pursue tough campaign finance reform in office to end pay-to-play and the corporate stranglehold on our local governance. He’s also pro-sustainable transit infrastructure, which is awesome.

      No one else in this field comes close to Tommy Wells proven record of working for the people of DC. It would be an incredible win for the city to have somebody like Wells in the top spot to finally root out the decades of political hackery and backroom shenanigans that have made us a total laughingstock in the eyes of the country and congress. He is, in my opinion, our best chance at making real progress toward home rule and true representation in congress.

      • That’s somewhat convincing, thanks.

      • A lot of campaign talking points and moral high ground here but no facts. I’m not anti-Wells by any means but would appreciate some clear, real examples of what he does that you love so much.

        • +1, actual reasons for Wells please.

        • >lot of campaign talking points and moral high ground here but no facts

          EXACTLY. This is what’s always frustrated me about Wells. Very little actually is done (how much legislation has be gotten passed the last ~8 years?), but he’s good as being a liaison between people and DC agencies. So, he might make a good DC agency PR guy, but not the type of person I want running the city.

    • As a previous Ward 6 resident for about five years, Wells is a warrior. He goes to bat for his community, time after time – most notably giving a damn about our schools. His commitment to DC is real; he’s been at it for over a decade so I truly believe that what he wants to get done actually WILL get done (ending pay to play, improving and providing QUALITY neighborhood schools and giving our kids the start they deserve, and enforcing a living wage among many other sustainable transportation objectives).

      • This is one reason I like Wells too – his commitment to strengthening neighborhood schools. I heard him speak and actually asked him about it. He is not naive about charter schools – he understands that they have a huge benefit in our educational system, but he wants them to support a strong base of neighborhood schools. I also REALLY like his “5-minute living” mantra – everyone, in EVERY ward (from upper northwest to Ward 8) should be able to get what they want (transportation, groceries, laundry, entertainment, etc.) within walking distance. The value of true urban, mixed-use neighborhoods is something I have seen in other cities and something I hope we continue to see a growth of here.

        Besides that, his strong commitment to ethics as has been mentioned previously are also a big draw for me. On top of that, I just really don’t like the other candidates from what I can see. I’m not 100% decided, but after looking into it a bit and seeing Wells speak, I’m fairly certain I will vote for him.

        • Wanting something is not a plan. I don’t think most people would disagree with the idea of having an accessible city and good schools.

      • Any specifics on how he’d do any of that? “He’s a warrior….goes to bat…” etc are pretty vague. And, what makes him *more* suited to be mayor than councilman? I just don’t see that he’s accomplished very much, other than the bag tax.

  • I have been surprised and impressed with city services and general direction under Gray. But I won’t vote for him; thanks for the useful recapitulation above. If Mayor were a ceremonial position I would vote Shallal; he’s great. But he would be too staff-dependent without first-hand knowledge of the workings of District government. Not Orange — I would expect the worst of cronyism. Among Wells, Bowser, maybe Catania, or even Evans I think we would get someone who would lead the government competently and probably honestly. (Evans would be a pro-wealthy, pro-business hack but that’s not dishonest!) My policy preferences align sharply with one of those four over the rest, but I won’t cry if my preferred candidate doesn’t win. Big picture,DC is fortunate to have so many qualified candidates vying for the job (Gray included.)

  • Gray hasn’t wowed me, but he’s been competent and serviceable as mayor. The other candidates are very one-dimensional at this point – they need to do more to tell voters why they stand out. I’m hoping for an upgrade from Gray, but if he is re-elected I think DC will do just fine. Vincent Orange is the only truly disastrous candidate on the ballot.

    • I agree with you about Gray. I’m actually tempted to vote for him (even though I voted for Fenty last time). The only candidate I’m worried about is Vincent Orange. I also have no idea why anyone would vote for Muriel Bowser.

      I really like Wells and might vote for him, but I don’t know how effective he’ll be.

      I am guessing Gray will win again. Wells, Evans, and Bowswer will split the anti-Gray vote.

    • Same here. I want a guy who will competently run the city, not someone who will be my friend and remember my name. Gray, in my opinion, has done a great job of running the city and is probably the best pick so far.

      • DC is the champion of complaining about corrupt politicians and then sending them back to office and yet we wonder why we frequently see politicians abuse the system. I know one thing I am not feeling with Gray is that with these stupid cameras I will get a ticket for going 12 over but that cop who is free from stopping my crazy speeding isn’t stopping the rising sex crimes and theft.

  • Catania may have some positive qualities, but he lacks the proper temperament to be an effective mayor. Let’s not forget his petty, vindictive and downright rude outbursts as a council member. And let’s not forget that 911 call from a few years ago, which should embarrass anyone who has supported him.

    • Yes, his personality could be a problem. On the other hand, there are parts of the city bureaucracy that might benefit from an asshole mayor who would not be shy about calling them out on their BS.

      • Agree. I generally like Gray and will probably vote for him in the primary because he has shown a steady level-headed approach to governing, but city services have backslid a bit post-Fenty and someone with Catania’s temperament needs to call out the bureaucracy. In my opinion, Catania has shown himself to be thoughtful and independent-minded in addressing each issue, as has Gray.

        I like Wells a lot too, but he has a snowball’s chance of winning and in my opinion he has been too quick to pander on the campaign trail. My hope is that either Gray or Catania offer him the head spot at DDOT post-election, since he won’t be able to return to the Council.

        Bowser’s not ready, Evans is best suited for the position he’s currently in, and a Mayor Orange would be worse than Mayor Barry – in fact, I think that should be his campaign slogan. Might appeal to his voter base.

      • Catania might be an effective mayor if he could channel all that anger and vitriol constructively.

        • But he can’t. He may hide it for a few months, but he is what he is. The guy’s permanently enshrouded in a haze of bile.

  • Who’s going to legalize it?

  • jim_ed

    I’m voting for Gray because none of the other candidates have given me a reason not to. Gray has shown an incredible amount of pragmatism in balancing the very different visions people have for the future of our city, and in doing so has kept things humming along smoothly. That in itself is a remarkable feat. I thought his handling of the shutdown was superb, and I am a big fan of his choices to hire Kaya Henderson and to keep Cathy Lanier and Harriet Tregoning. Overall, I’m optimistic about where our city is headed, and satisfied with what I’ve seen.

    That said, I would give serious consideration to voting for David Catania if he were to run in the general election.

  • My minority view is that part of the reason DC is unable to get good city services or forward-moving public policy in our impoverished neighborhoods is a lack of political diversity. Voters in the best governed localities in our country are able to put national politics aside and vote for local issues. DC voters are profoundly unable to do that for obvious reasons, namely a lot of people move to this city to participate in national politics and national issues are very salient here. To anyone who’d never vote for a Catania-type figure because he used to have an -R after his name, please take a look at these people’s positions on the issues and do your best to separate them from the Romney-Ryan campaign, et al. It’s possible (and likely) that votes against Catania are overdetermined anyway, but I just hope that DC voters will ultimately be able to make local decisions without national party biases.

  • I would vote for the Easter Bunny before I voted for Muriel Bowser. Muriel lacks social skills and she’s not a people’s person. Her consitutent services staff and her are non responsive to most her Ward 4 consituents. Muriel responds to her Shepherd Park consitiuency.

    • ^this is absolutely true about Muriel Bowser – COMPLETELY unresponsive and no vision for this city whatsoever! GO TOMMY WELLS!

      • IBowser’s view on engagement is taking huge corporate contributions from every LLC she can and then giving in to all of the developers that tug on her chain. She’s a corporate person. She looks through constituents and their needs. She show very little care or concern for any one, and especially if you are white. Agreed that her staff is generally unresponsive to constituents needs and normally they offer no assistance.
        She is just not ready for prime-time!

      • I concur. I live in Bowser’s ward and she has done anything but help people. Her pockets are full of special interest cash, her staff and her have gone on personal vendettas smearing local journalists and activists. Will never EVER offer her support.

  • Im voting for Tommy because he is 100% in support of streetcars and more bike lanes. No other candidate pushes on these forms of transportation the way he does. He also recognizes that DC Middle schools are a mess and is putting forth some ideas at least on that front including feeders into Charters. Bowser is a joke on education. He last legislation she put forth was “all middle schools should be like Deal”–WTF? You mean white and rich? its sad and funny. She does not fight for bike lanes or transit. If tommy loses in the primary, and I think he will..then Catania will get my vote.
    I don’t hate Gray. He hasnt steered the city in the wrong direction. he really hasn’t done anything and thats fine for ONE term. But not two. We need to keep pushing DC forward, attracting more residents and creating new neighborhoods. You have to remember the Mayor is responsible for appointiing some key positions like Dep Mayor, Head of DDOT and Head of Planning…that makes a huge difference. You want a mayor who knows something about that. Fenty and Williams made great appointments on that front. And tommy will as well.

    • What, specifically, has he done for streetcars that could have been accomplished without the mayor? DDOT is an executive agency under the mayor, so seems like- at best- he’d share the credit.

  • The only way to make this poll a reality is VOLUNTEER

    Also get 5 friends to vote for Tommy and register 5 more to vote

  • Wells’ knee-jerk reactions really make me question his judgement. In the wake of the Navy Yard massacre, he took the opportunity to politicize the tragedy by sending out a campaign email stating the massacre shows DC needs stricter gun control. You’d think the chair of the public safety committee would know that 1) DC has the strictest gun control in the US, 2) the firearm and crimes were already illegal in DC, and 3) the guy and gun weren’t from DC. But, the facts didn’t stop Tommy from politicizing the tragedy to rally some campaign donations. That’s despicable, and not the kind of judgement I want in the mayor of the nation’s capital.

  • I’d vote for Fenty again but considering he is dating Steve Jobs widow, I think Fenty came out to be the winnner here.

    • Seriously. She’s hot, too. Being mayor is overrated. He’s probably having a much better time helping her spend and manage her money.

  • Okay, fess up, who among you are the six crazies who would actually cast a vote for Vincent Orange?

  • Gray has been a great Mayor. I say that after living and working in local government in a lot of other big cities. Hard to forgive the campaign corruption, it really truly is. But as a homeowner and parent, I’ve got a stake in DC and I’m not going to make a protest vote or choose someone completely inexperienced. I’m voting for the candidate who will be the best chief executive, and that’s the incumbent.

    • The only reason Gray has been decent is because the FBI is watching every move…Im afraid it would be a complete 180 if that were not happening.

    • I have to agree. I voted for Fenty the last time around, but will be voting for Gray this time. I’m a homeowner, parent, recovering federal employee, and watch the local political scene. Gray has done a great job keeping the city moving forward, and as someone who does environmental work, his SustainableDC plan is very well regarded and thought out.

  • Besides being a capitalist…Shallal is the only real progressive/leftist candidate on most issues. Evans, Bowser, Gray, Orange are all insufferable. Wells is too much of a neo-liberal panderer for me but may get my vote if he continues pushing weed legalization since decriminalization alone doesnt end racial profiling.

  • The One That Can Create Jobs, Turn Education Around and have real training for the poor.

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