Friday Question of the Day – Who are you Voting for?

Photo by PoPville flickr user JoshBassett|PHOTOGRAPHY

Well it’s the last Friday before the election so let’s take the opportunity for one last poll before the primary. You can see the previous poll on who’d you vote for here and the previous poll on the issues most important to you here. I’m looking forward to seeing if there is any change from January. Also feel free to electioneer here (but please don’t just trash others, you can tell us why you like your candidate without slinging mud) and let us know who you are voting for in the council races too.

203 Comment

  • Folks, think about this for a second before you throw your vote away on Wells. Play the long game.

    The primary is between Gray and Bowser, full stop. No one else will even come with screaming distance of either of them.

    Bowser would be a useless disaster, she is like a golden retriever, “nice” but easily distracted by flashing lights, and her positions change with the passing minutes.

    You need to vote for Gray so he takes Bowser out of the running, assuming the Federal prosecutor will drop the hammer on Gray sometime between the Primary and the election, taking him out of the race. That way we get rid of both gray and bowser, and get someone who 1. Has more than 3 brain cells to rub together and 2., isn’t a world class felon.

    • A vote for Gray is a wasted vote, because it’s pretty much inevitable that he’s going to be indicted, sooner or later, for this shadow campaign that he was involved in.

      • Yes… And then what happens when he is removed? Someone far less objectionable like Catania is a shoe in

        • Catania is only “far less objectionable” if the only you disagreed with GW Bush on was same sex marriage. Catania was on board with the nuttiest presidential administration in recent history up until they disagreed with him on one issue. I don’t trust that guy as far as I can throw him. He’s *very* objectionable.

      • A vote for Gray is a wasted vote because of the investigation… a vote for Wells is a wasted vote because his candidacy is basically DOA… a vote for Bowser is a wasted vote because she’s awful… I hate this year’s mayoral race.

        • gotryit

          +1 on your analysis… -1 to the sad state of the election
          Unless Wells can pull a win here, I don’t think I care much whether Bowser or Gray wins. I dislike them both.

          • +1 on the first post.
            Lets “triangulate” this folks:
            According to the latest Washington Post poll, Catania can beat Grey, but not Bowser. Vote for Grey or WE’LL BE STUCK WITH BOWSER FOR YEARS! (ask anyone in her district: USELESS!)

      • Too late, I already cashed the check from Gray so I have to vote for him.

    • This is very simple. Bowser is horrible, and doesn’t deserve a chance to even sniff the Mayoral office (W4 resident here, she is an unmitigated disaster!)

      A vote for Gray is a vote against Bowser. Gray will lose to Catania in the general. Bowser will not lose to Catania in the general.

      Go in there, pull the trigger for Gray, and we get rid of both Gray and Bowser in one fell swoop. Win-Win.

      • gotryit

        Why are you so convinced that Gray would lose to Catania in the general? I’d like him to, but I’m not as convinced.

        • I’m not totally convinced either, or totally enthusiastic about Catania, but I think he’s the best of a lousy bunch. So I’m voting Gray and hoping for Catania.

          • +1. Hold my nose and vote for Gray in the primary so Catania can give him the boot in the general.

    • Gray isn’t a “felon”. You might have missed the part about him never even being indicted. Good to know you’re taking the word of a guy who got his hand caught in a cookie jar (Thompson), who is also accusing Hillary Clinton, Bowser, Gray and every Dem not named Tommy Wells within 500 miles of this city of taking his dough. Thompson would say anything to get his sentence minimized. Even if Gray did do something wrong, I certainly don’t believe Thompson’s outlandish tales. What experienced politician would come in person and give someone a typewritten note with a budget on it? Where’s that sheet of paper? Shouldn’t it have Gray’s fingerprints and DNA on it? Come on…any prosecutor worth his salt would have indicted Gray already oif everything Thompson said was true…there should be enough evidence to bury Gray…the only reason I could see Machen hesitate for is because he doesn’t have enough evidence to convict.

    • You trust the polls? No one has polled me. A great survey question would be, “Have you been polled as to who you plan to vote for as mayor?” I bet most people’s answer would be “No.”

      • I’m going to assume you don’t have much familiarity with statistics and statistical sampling — IF sampling is done properly, you don’t need a huge sample size to get a good projection.
        What I’m wondering about, though — after someone raised this issue the other day — is the number of voters who have no landlines and non-202 area codes. The Washington Post poll said that it included cell phones as well as landlines, but I’d imagine that would include only 202-code cell phones. (I don’t know how else they could reasonably identify cell phones belonging to D.C. residents, short of getting lists from the four major cell phone providers.) And much of Wells’ support might belong to a demographic of no-landline people who’ve retained their cell numbers from non-D.C. areas.
        So is it possible that the Post’s polling methods could be significantly underestimating the level of support for Wells?

        • Assume all you want. And while we’re talking assumptions, what about Gallup’s polls showing Romney’s huge lead over Obama? A good case in point that bad assumptions lead to incorrect results.

        • justinbc

          It wouldn’t be surprising, given that they’ve endorsed her themselves. My girlfriend and I both have non-202 area code phones, and live in Wells’ district. In fact, pretty much all of my friends in that neighborhood do not have 202 area code phones.

        • Anoymous — Polls can definitely be flawed if their sampling methods are poor. However, “No one has polled ME, so this poll cannot be valid” is the kind of objection you tend to hear from people who don’t understand statistical sampling.

  • I’ll be voting on Tuesday, but I won’t be casting a vote for the mayoral primary, because I have no faith in any of the candidates. I wish that were an option in your poll.

  • Pop,

    I’m voting for whoever will force Pop to explain why he posted a map of the city center retail and then took it down. Perhaps the developer forced him to do it? But, some explanation would be nice. I’m mean this isn’t Prince of Moscow where the government minders would have forced its removal.

  • Vince Gray. If you had told me that 4 years ago, I would’ve never believed you

  • Still undecided – I was hoping to make up my mind between Wells and Bowser at the debate tonight at 6th & I, but Bowser showed up over an hour late and only answered one or two questions before the debate was over. (Gray got there after she did, he only had time to make a closing statement). I missed the Channel 9 debate on Wed, but I just found the video online so I’ll watch it this weekend and see if anything the candidates say sways me. I think I’m leaning towards Wells.

  • I’m voting for Mayor Gray. In my opinion people over-complicate things: I don’t really care how he raised every cent of the money used to run for office. What I care about is how well he did the job once he got it, and the answer to that is DC is undergoing a revival the likes of which hasn’t occurred in half a century. Maybe Mayor Gray can take some credit for this – or maybe he can’t but his presence in office certainly didn’t hinder progress and that’s enough for me. I cannot count on the momentum to continue under another mayor, ESPECIALLY not Bowser who has felt like a placeholder in Ward 4!

    • Do your research. Evans can take credit for much of the good going on in DC today in terms of revival.

      • Does he, though? It seems to me that much of the “revival” he takes credit for was largely the work of the mayors he was working with.

        • Not 100% true. Yes, it took a team but the areas that were first to thrive in this latest revival are in ward 2 and he was instrumental in putting the deals together. For anyone who lived here before Verizon Center, the new Convention Center and Whole Foods , you know just how depressed those areas were.

    • I don’t think it matters who wins. All they have to do is keep the policies and people in place set forth by Williams and Fenty and ride the tide, like Gray has done. Don’t do anything illegal, like Gray has done. I could probably be mayor.

      • I agree with you in theory, but anyone who works at a federal agency and is familiar with political transitions knows this is seldom ever true in practice. New figureheads change things — either changing existing policies or applying different interpretations, creating new policies, or just plain placing more focus on different aspects of the administration. They’ve got egos to stroke (their own) and resumes to build — they want to feel like they’ve contributed something new. At least I know where priorities under Mayor Gray stand. As for Jack Evans, I know his work and even signed the petition to place him on the ballot. But I’m just not convinced yet that a longtime Georgetown councilman can truly and effectively advocate for the development in the rest of the city.

    • As someone who moved to Ward 4 a year ago, I agree with you re: Bowser. i think Gray and Evans seem similar from a policy standpoint, and as of now I would vote for Evans. But if this is really a two horse race between Gray and Bowser, I would have to stick with Gray.

      • I come here thinking I am the only Gray supporter mostly because I think Bowser would be a disaster and it turns out – WOW – that is something approaching conventional wisdom. CRAZY!!!

        Look the shady Uncle Earl deal was useless because it’s clear Gray was going to crush Fenty. So I can’t explain why he did any of even what he admitted to.

        But I don’t fundamentally disagree with how Gray has governed, though I can quibble on details. A born-and-raised DC mayor with experience running things and a nose for finance, details, serving underprivileged residents and good education policies and leadership. Many people said there was no such leader in DC.

        And I’ll say it – CM Bowser would not be a reasonable replacement. You can’t run for this long and not have a vision for anything. Think about that DCist interview that’s up today – asking her for an accomplishment that’s not the ethics reform bill that Kwame Brown passed makes her go off. And on education she just says middle schools are important, let’s make every school just like the low-poverty, on-task-student-filled, high-enrollment, super-PTA-powered Deal in Tenleytown.

        I’d support a Catania candidacy. Imagine asking him what his education platform is – you could get 30 minutes of details on things HE IS WORKING ON NOW. On practically any issue it’s like this (though especially education). And a question about his record doesn’t make him blow up because he doesn’t have an answer.

        In the grand scheme of things a former Republican vs. a formerly-sketchy-campaigning Democrat, I can live with either. It sounds funny to say so, but it’s true. The one situation I can’t live with is having Muriel Bowser as mayor.

    • A $650,000 illegal campaign slush fund is not a mere complication. You are playing a dangerous game if you think it’s okay to elect someone who has no respect for the law.

      • I am voting against Bowser, and trying to keep her out of office. Gray loses to Catania. I have no illusion that Gray wins the general, so this is all about keeping Bowser from damaging this city with her flip-flopping and refusal to take a position on anything.

        She won’t even say if she will keep Kaya Henderson… Seriously? How can you not have formed an opinion on Kaya after this long?!?

      • This Thompson fellow apparently gave money to promote the campaigns of many politicians, including (according to the Washington Post article I read) giving $800,000 to Hillary Clinton, though no one is alleging that she knew and should thus be indicted. I am content to let a court of law and a fair trail decide what Mayor Gray knew or didn’t know. I will not make that determination prematurely by withholding my vote.

      • You must not have been paying attention to presidential politics for the past few years if you think executives in this country pay any head to the legislature. Federal laws get broken every day in this town – in spirit if not in letter (FOIA, prohibitions against the CIA assassinating people, etc).

  • I really don’t dock Mayor Gray for having a cold hands this morning at his secured rally at Fort Totten metro, it was still cold out! Give me some skin y’all!

  • I would love to also hear people’s thoughts on the councilmember races, both for your ward and for the at-large seat.

  • Not everyone is registered to a party.

    • binpetworth

      +1. Or not registered to the Democratic party.

      • + A gazillion. The not voting option in the poll really ought to have been split into two options….not voting because I don’t care to, or not voting because I’m not a registered democrat.

        • I voted early this week and I was not registered to a party. All I had to do was put in a provisional ballot signed as a democrat. I can always rescind it later. The important thing though is to call and make sure your ballot counted. Takes about 10 days to process.

        • justinbc

          Why does that matter? I think “not voting” sufficiently covers it regardless of the reason. It’s not like anyone is going to look at the poll and see 45 people answered not voting and assume they’re lazy citizens and track them down and accost them. Although, stranger things have happened on the internet.

    • When I first registered to vote, I vowed to never join a party. But then I realized I would have no influence on DC government, so I had to register as a Democrat to have a voice.

  • I have no idea and it’s really stressing me out.

  • I don’t think it matters who wins. All they have to do is keep the policies and people in place set forth by Williams and Fenty and ride the tide, like Gray has done. Don’t do anything illegal, like Gray has done. I could probably be mayor.

  • I was all for Wells and then read that he opposes changes to the height limits. Gray it is, I guess.

  • Wells. I agree with him the most. If he loses, i will just for Catania in November.

    Has anyone else noticed the puff pieces on bowser in the post?? Why is it so pro-browser? Joke of a newspaper…

    • I’ve gotten no less than 5 mailers from her this week, all touting how the Washington Post has endorsed her…

    • I agree completely. I really want wells to win bc I agree with him on most issues (the height act alone won’t stop my vote) and I think he understands how to take the city forward the best. If he doesn’t win, I will be happy voting for Catania against either Gray or Bowser. The more votes Wells can get even without winning, the better chance he has at another shot at something down the line

    • Why do people act like Wells and Catania are interchangeable? That’s like saying “I’ll vote for a liberal Democrat, but if not him, I’ll vote for a centrist”. WTF? I hate this town. Catania and Wells don’t share much more than skin color and gender.

      • gotryit

        Because I waver between liberal and centrist depending on the issue. They both seem reasonably not shady / corrupt / sleezy. It’s not like we’re talking about a hardcore conservative vs. hardcore liberal.

      • I don’t think people think Wells and Catania are interchangeable — I think it’s more of a thinking of “I’d really prefer Wells, but if I can’t get Wells, I’d much rather have Catania than Bowser or Gray.”
        I am leaning toward voting Wells and hoping that the polls have been significantly underestimating support for him.

  • Still deciding about the mayor but I am definitely going to the polls to cast a vote for Brianne Nadeau. All you Jim Graham haters, this is your moment. Rise up!

  • justinbc

    Tommy Wells. He’s been great for my ward and I agree with most of his policies and visions for DC (I’ll forgive him on the Height Act, since I really don’t care too much about that issue).

    • Yup me too. I know everyone is saying he doesn’t stand a chance, but honestly if we all thought like that nothing would ever change and we’d just continue electing the same shady douchebags over and over. Oh wait…

      • justinbc

        I do not believe in the concept of a “wasted vote” as described above. If you vote for who you believe in it’s not a waste, regardless of the outcome. Voting for someone else, well, that’s debatable.

        • Same here, I am voting for Wells, even if he ‘can’t’ win. Although, I doubt voter turnout will be high, so I hold this hope that people will become inspired in the next week and come out unexpectedly.

        • I agree with this, with one exception. When I really want someone to lose (Anita Bonds in my case) I’ll consider strategic issues over candidate preference.

        • +1, agree

    • I like Wells’ position on the Height Act:

      DCist: The Height Act is one of the more touchy topics in this election. I know you’ve said in the past you’re against raising the height limit, but do you think there could be a way to do it that would make more affordable housing and not turn D.C. into a skyscraper city?

      Wells: What disappoints me is that people don’t seem to understand that it’s not a two-dimensional, linear discussion. That we’re reinventing the built space in cities at such a rapid rate, if you believe it’s linear, then you need more height, you need more space. But apartments are half the size of what they were being built at just 10 to 15 years ago. We’re increasing density within apartment buildings because it’s more affordable, the smaller unit, where you use the collective group to have a business office space, dog walking space, party space, lounge space, so that also you’re on top of coffee shops and restaurants. So when you have people over, you’re often meeting at the coffee shop instead of in your dining room. We are reimagining what the built space is. We’re putting a lot more people in more efficiently and it cost them less because they have a 500 square foot apartment instead of an 1,100 square foot apartment.
      The other thing is, we’ve got some buildings downtown because businesses are saving a lot of money by changing the workspace. You wouldn’t believe this but there’s a very credible online newspaper that doesn’t even have an office. It’s called DCist. Businesses are rethinking what office space is. You see that with LivingSocial. It’s not everybody gets an office with a door. You have communal spaces and then you have different offices for if you want to talk on the phone or have a meeting. It’s all shared. Even the federal government is changing its office’s specs. We know that we’ve got some buildings coming online downtown that are going to be empty and they should be changed into living spaces.
      The Height Act has helped push development out to NoMa, Mount Vernon Triangle, The Waterfront. It’s going to push it across the river. The main reason you raise the Height Act is to create more value so that people will develop land that’s not getting developed. We’ve got about a third or more of all commercial development in America already going on. There’s no reason to push the gas pedal down further. For anybody to say that it’s the heights that’ll bring more affordable housing, they’re in a 1950s to 1990s paradigm. We’re changing how we’re using the built-in environment rapidly.

      DCist: What about the Height Act as a Home Rule issue?

      Wells: Budget autonomy is a Home Rule issue, our Delegate being able to vote on the House floor is a Home Rule issue. We’ve got a lot of Home Rule issues, but I don’t believe it’s the solution to affordable housing.

  • I voted early this week and was conflicted – do not want Gray Pt. 2 but not crazy about Bowser either (who has the best shot at taking him down). In the end, went for Wells, hoping that enough people vote for Bowser to prevent Gray from being reelected. Bah what a crappy primary

    • justinbc

      I’m just curious why you and others always say that Bowser has the “best shot at taking him down”? I’m not arguing the point at all, just haven’t seen anything that would indicate why that is.

      • Polls, although I do believe that they don’t quite capture the incumbency advantage. I think we’ll see Gray eek out a couple more points, from undecided who will think about how the city is improving, and stick to the status quo (investigation and all).

        The race issue is an interesting one that I hadn’t thought much about, although I’ve definitely heard the “is DC ready for a white mayor again” mantra. Then again, I’ve also heard voters disinclined to vote for Bowser because “she isn’t like me” – isn’t married, have kids, go to the same church as me, etc.

        I predict that Gray prevails by 4-6 points.

        Really? Every single poll has Bowser and Gray topping the 3rd place challenger (Wells) by 2-1. It’s been widely reported, and the link above is only the latest.
        While I appreciate your idealism (some would say naiveté) with respect to “there are no wasted votes,” the reality is that Wells is not going to win the Democratic primary. Full stop. So voting for him IS a waste – you are conceding the decision over who will be the democratic nominee to others.

        • justinbc

          “While I appreciate your idealism (some would say naiveté) with respect to “there are no wasted votes,” the reality is that Wells is not going to win the Democratic primary. Full stop. So voting for him IS a waste – you are conceding the decision over who will be the democratic nominee to others.”
          That may very well be true. But fortunately for me and the rest of the District there are more voters than the 1,400 people who responded to that poll. The breakout from that boll is 30% Bowsers, 27% Gray, 14% Wells. That’s a gap which could easily be made up with actual voting versus people who happened to answer their phone and take the time to respond.

          • ^^^^^ this

          • Unless the pollsters happened to call in the middle of some major Wells rally that all of his supporters were at, these %ages aren’t likely to move that much unless their methods were seriously, seriously flawed.

          • justinbc

            I mean, it’s a Washington Post performed poll. The newspaper who has backed Bowser. Even if their methods were flawless I’m not likely to trust a 300 person difference in a city of 600,000+ based on whether or not people want to take a phone survey. And I sure as hell wouldn’t let that keep me from voting for the person I actually want to win to try and play some politico version of Risk.

        • So the theories are (i) the poll is wrong, or (ii) the poll is corrupt? Despite the fact that the Post runs a national polling operation, separate and apart from the editorial board? Come on. Even if it is wrong, the chance of it being so incorrect that a third-place candidate could overtake not one but two other candidates who are polling around double his support is so small that it’s not worth discussing. If you believe otherwise, you’re suffering from some combination of hopeless naiveté, willfull blindless, or a stunning lack of knowledge of modern polling techniques and statistical probability. And if you really think that the Post has cooked its own poll to support the candidate it endorsed, thereby risking its credibility on a local race, well, I think you need to restock your supply of tinfoil.
          Look, like I said, I understand why you want to vote for Wells – I would too, especially in this field. But please go into it with your eyes open – he’s got no shot. Half-baked rationalizations about how the polling numbers aren’t accurate, and anyway, the polling organization can’t be trusted are fantasies. And no offense, they call to mind the Romney camp in the weeks before the 2012 presidential election. Remember that? “The polling methods are flawed, they don’t capture the true numbers in which Republicans will turn out, and anyway the liberal media outlets want to make it seem like Obama will win in a landslide!” How’s that turn out? With Ann Romney crying because she had drunk the Kool-Aid, and simply could not believe that her husband had taken a truly historic beating, despite the fact that every poll predicted it, that’s how.
          If you don’t have a strong preference (or distaste) for one of the other candidates, then vote your conscience. But for me, at least, I think one of the two front-runners would be a catastrophe as mayor, and in the real world, elections have consequences. So I’m going to use my vote to do my part to try to make sure that candidate doesn’t get elected

  • Voting Gray–because he voted against the Height Act. Bowser is young, untested and not connected enough. Wells is too connected to the churches and will never hold the hipster vote together.

    Also-I have never understood why a district voter would chose not to register democrat.

    • gotryit

      “Wells is too connected to the churches and will never hold the hipster vote together.”
      What do you mean by that?
      Crap, did I just call myself a hipster?

      • Young white hipsters creating the new dc could put Wells in power but they 1) don’t bother to vote or choose not to register democrat, 2) feel guilty about bringing in a white mayor, and 3) are too busy dreaming of statehood (as opposed to effecting real change).

        Re-the churches. That is my pet-peeve. Churches in DC have too much power, and Wells gives off the vibe of a true-believer.

        • gotryit

          It’s the last part that I’m curious about why you feel that. I’m also sensitive to the issue, but I got the vibe that he’d be a good bridge between my borderline anti-church sentiments and a more reasonable approach to dealing with the churches.

          • That is why it is my anti-religious pet-peeve. He wants to build a bridge when I don’t think there should be one. Wells is either a true believer or earnestly believes you can have a dialogue with the believers. In my opinion–this is not possible. I prefer politicians that merely pretend to believe to get the vote.

          • justinbc

            Isn’t having dialogue with those who don’t necessarily share your same beliefs one of the fundamental roles of a politician?

          • gotryit

            I agree with Justin – I want a politician who will bridge the divides while giving my views a seat at the table, not crusade for exactly what I want.

          • Agreed with justinbc and gotryit.

          • I agree. Politicians compromise for a living. But politics is about getting what you want (i.e. PoPers want bike lanes, and to raise taxes on cigarettes). For me, churchgoers are like cigarette smokers–they need to be marginalized. You don’t want this. Unfortunately for me, you are in the majority. That is politics.

        • justinbc

          That seems rather presumptuous of an entire demographic. And that’s even if you ignore the fact that the term hipster really doesn’t apply to most of the people you’re probably using it to generalize.

          • Hipster has become a useless word. Let’s retire it. Instead, I suggest “bobo” to describe the cross between hipsters and yuppies that everyone is trying to describe here. Bobo is short for bourgeois bohemian and as a bonus was coined by DC resident David Brooks. The term caught on like wildfire in France but never here, although Brooks initially used the term to describe hipster-yuppies in American society.

            As for the election, I’m still undecided between Gray and Wells. I’m still willing to learn more about Bowser, but so far she has not impressed me at all. Unless Wells wins the primary (unlikely) or Gray wins and his good name is vouchsafed for by Machen (unlikely), then I will be voting Catania in the general.

          • justinbc

            That’s hilarious, I like it.

          • +1 great term, and exactly what I meant by my broad use of hipster.

        • I think you could be on to something, unfortunately, because Wells is my candidate of choice. I know of a few people who feel “gentrification guilt” and have explicitly said they would “never vote for a white mayor.” I was like HUH?! What if that person is the most qualified for the job? What if his or her views align most with yours? What difference does his or her skin color make? It blows my mind that they not only think this way, but openly talk about it as if it’s a point of pride.

        • Hey All:

          I appreciate all your sentiments and concerns about the churches retaining too much power in DC. I wanted to share Tommy’s views on this directly:

          As a resident atheist, I too have little patience for the church issue, but Tommy’s approach is whatever we have been doing up until now on the issue hasn’t been working, so lets try something new.

          You have to trust that he will hire those like minded in values and issues which will protect the progressive ideals he is running on.

          I hope you will look at his blog and be open minded to the ideas he proposes

          side note: I don’t think it is about him being a ‘believer’ but rather experience as a social worker – opinions my own

    • Question: candidates’ canvassers have suggested changing registration in order to vote (I’m registered independent). I’ve always been against that as it seems like some sort of cheating that I can’t quite explain. However, I’m having second thoughts for this primary and curious if you can do same day party registration (I know DC does allow same day registration to vote in general).

      • justinbc

        I’m pretty sure the deadline has already passed to change for the primary.

        • You can register and/or change your registration on site, and cast a special ballot.

          • From the DCBOEE website FAQ: ” If you are a voter who is already registered, you must complete any changes to your party affiliation on or before March 3, 2014 in order to participate in the primary election.”
            That seems to state pretty clearly that you can’t change your party affiliation after March 3 and vote in the primary. Where did you get your information?

          • You can vote in the primary by changing your party affiliation at the voting booth, but it is a provisional ballot, which means that it will only be counted in a close election.

  • Bowswer: Seems devoid of ideas, vision, and creativity – typical “finger to the wind” politician.

    Gray: Development has continued under him, but I’m not sure if he can really take “credit” for it. And I don’t get a sense of urgency on crime, schools, and providing real opportunities and inspiration to the less affluent in the cities. And then there is the corruption thing…

    Evans: Perhaps he would be a decent mayor, but we’ll never know because he’s a rich white guy..

    Shallal: Wealthy, Che Guevara wanabes leave me cold – stick to overpriced restaurants for “le gente”.

    Wells: Seems OK, but I’m not sure why I would proactively support for him.

  • I’m voting for Wells because he cares about urbanism as much or more than I do. He’s a one-issue candidate in that sense, but I want to demonstrate that those issues matter in DC. Bowser is a non-entity with no demonstrable up side. I asked the campaign worker who showed up at my door what she stood for beyond not being Gray, and he was completely befuddled. Gray is innocent until proven guilty, and he’s muddled/coasted through just fine. If he’s re-elected I wouldn’t be devastated. Apparently the polls indicate that Catania can beat Gray, but not Bowser if it comes to that in the general election. That might be a reason to vote for Gray in the primary… Anita Bonds MUST go, and Jim Graham probably should too.

    • I have so much trouble with a candidate (wells) that claims to care about urbanism, but then votes to retain the height act.

      • justinbc

        Last year DC had the 4th most new construction for any Metro area in the U.S.
        If you do it on a per capita basis, we’re #1. We don’t need Height Act changes to further growth and development in DC.

        • We do if we want it to be affordable development. Anyone who cares about affordable housing and homelessness should support modifying the Height Act to enable vertical development in the many areas of the city where it would be appropriate. Modifying the Height Act is desperately needed for long-term affordability.

          • justinbc

            Not that I disagree with you, but could you please explain how amending the Height Act will decrease homelessness?

          • I honestly can’t imagine that repealing the Heights Act would do anything to help with affordability. I think that it would only help raise developers’ profits. Developers fund large chunks of mayoral campaigns. Gray, who takes their money, voted against the Heights Act. Wells, who has thus far refused corporate donations, voted to keep it.
            With that said, I’m voting for Gray in the primary because I far prefer him to Bowser. She hasn’t done a single thing of value in her time on city council. I would love to have Wells as my mayor, but I just don’t see him having a real chance this time around.

        • We will need amendments to the height act when transit-accessible areas are completely built out – which is the case downtown, and nearing the case in stations around the periphery of downtown. Navy Yard, NoMa, and Mt Vernon are quickly approaching that point.

          You can’t just point to Fort Totten and Anacostia and say ‘look, there’s room for development here, let’s not raise the height limit until they’re developed.’ We need to be proactive, not reactive. That mindset is akin to not planning for retirement because you’re still working.

          Fort Totten and Anacostia are less than ideal places for development, anyway – the streets aren’t gridded, and there are large swaths of land whose development potential is limited either because of parkland or urban highways.

          • justinbc

            And yet two of the largest projects in DC right now are happening in Anacostia.

          • That doesn’t rebut any of my points, Justin.

          • justinbc

            You say it’s less than ideal, but those spending the money to develop it either disagree with you, or simply don’t care about that fact. That seems pretty relevant to me. My point is not that we don’t need to eliminate or amend the Height Act, it’s that it’s really not that big of an issue as people want to make it out to be because we are still growing exponentially (and a growth that really isn’t being demanded, from what I can see). Many of these new condo / apartment buildings are sitting empty. Do we really need another 10-20 stories of empty condos on top them?

          • Pointing out that someone is developing in Anacostia doesn’t change the fact that downtown, West End, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Chinatown, Navy Yard, NoMa, and Mt Vernon sq are basically fully built out, and NIMBYism in other areas, such as Capitol Hill, Takoma, and yes, even Anacostia is preventing additional development and/or limiting the housing stock that IS being built, which drives prices for existing stock higher.

            Just for my own edification, where are these condos and apartments sitting empty? My lease will be up in a few months and I’ve been looking at both condos and rentals – from what I can see, the market is still tight as hell.

          • justinbc

            1) It’s not just “someone”, one of them is possibly the largest project in the whole District, with CityCenter being the only real competitor. 2) I completely disagree with your statement that Navy Yard and NoMa are “basically fully built out”. Have you walked through these neighborhoods? There is still a lot of room for development. 3) And even if Dupont and Logan were fully built out, I feel that some part of DC deserves to have some historical preservation, be it the Height Act or some other measure. 4) With regard to empty condos, take a look on 14th Street. Many of those that were just finished are now converting to apartments because they couldn’t get enough buyers.

          • Yes, I have walked through NoMa and Navy Yard recently. There are a few empty parcels of land, nobody is disputing that. But there’s nowhere near enough land to accommodate DC’s population growth. The low hanging fruit in those neighborhoods has already been picked.

            A few fully occupied 10 story apartment buildings might house around 1,000 people. That’s about as many people that are moving in to DC every month.

            Again, you’ve done nothing to rebut my thesis: DC will need to amend the Height Act, because there’s simply not enough room for development around transit-accessible and walkable neighborhoods.

            We need to be proactive about development. What happens when Anacostia, Fort Totten, Takoma, etc are all built out? We should be planning for that eventuality right now, not after it happens.

          • KD21, as a NoMa resident I can assure you that you’re way off base here. While I love it, it has a LONG way to go to be “fully developed”.

          • justinbc

            I mean if your “thesis” is that at some point in the unknown future more people will be living or want to live in DC than currently do, then no I would not argue that point. For all I know Coruscant is the future and we all live in one mega-city. My point is that I don’t believe that’s something really pertinent to this particular election, or even the next one to be honest. There is more than enough land (that’s transportation friendly) to be developed right now and over the next decade that we don’t need to concern ourselves with how tall any given building should be allowed to go.

          • Anonymous, nobody has said that NoMa is fully developed, just that it’s close to being fully built out.

            Justin, it’s fair enough that you don’t believe the height limit is something that needs to be addressed in this election. It’s a reasonable position to take, but I strongly feel that it is a shortsighted position. I’d prefer my mayor to have a vision about how this city can grow decades into the future, not someone who’ll just kick the can further down the road.

          • ROFL sorry but you lose any credibility on this issue if you think Navy Yard is fully built out. Not only are there abandoned buildings to be reclaimed or razed or whatever but there are several huge lots of just nothing. Maybe your Dupont Circle claim holds up but who wants a Sears Tower in one of the most well known historic areas?

          • Well then it’s a good thing I didn’t say anything of the sort, Anonymous.

          • Big +1 to JustinBC’s statement “There is more than enough land (that’s transportation friendly) to be developed right now and over the next decade that we don’t need to concern ourselves with how tall any given building should be allowed to go.”

        • I am with kd21. this is about downtown dc and office space. where is downtown going to put more office space if they can’t go up? I am pretty sure that the bobos will keep the office buildings from spreading to far north into logan/shaw.

      • I happen to support the Height Act. There’s still plenty of room in DC to improve and increase density before we reach the point where building up is a necessity. I don’t like the Congressional interference part at all, but I think overall the Height Act has been beneficial for DC as a policy. And let it be said that Wells at least thinks intelligently and cares about these issues. That’s the only reason he has my vote.

  • I personally would like to see Catania as our mayor. I also liked Fenty a lot.

    What I think is a sad realization is that there will not be possibility of a white mayor of DC in the next several decades. African Americans in this city vote based on race (before you get on your huffy bike, research the data, read it and educate yourself on facts). That is to say, the over whelming majority of AA in DC will get behind one AA candidate, generally the one that will pass out a free turkey, allow illegal church parking on Sundays and look the other way at pot smoking in public, and has a history of corruption, just sayin.

    Caucasian people on the other hand have to stand behind somebody and have to “stand for something” so the Caucasian vote will always be split among Caucasian and other candidates so the Caucasians can feel they are not “wasting” their vote. This group won’t come together to decide on the best possibility of the candidates and all get behind him/her, each will do their own thing, splitting votes, making it impossible for the Caucasian minority to ever help a Caucasian candidate to win. (again simple facts, research the voting data). This is not to say that whites only vote white (again see the data) it is just to say that a Caucasian or non AA candidate can’t win with out the total of the Caucasian and non-AA vote helping them, as the majority of the AA vote will always go to an AA candidate.

  • I’ll hold my nose and vote for Gray, only because Bowser seems like a disaster. I’d prefer Wells or Shallal, but that’s not going to happen.

  • I’m still not sure what I’ll do. My overriding belief is that whoever is elected won’t have much of an impact on what’s driving the city’s current success– I think Anthony Williams deserves credit for that.

    I had been leaning toward a Gray primary/Catania general split because of Catania’s laser like focus on education and schools reform. Plus Bowser doesn’t really appeal to me. But now I’m turned off by what I feel is another motive for some who are pushing this “strategic” vote (by which I mean Gray primary/Catania general): to elect a non-black mayor. And I don’t like it.

    • It isn’t to do it to elect a non-black mayor. It is to elect someone who isn’t currently a huge target of the US Attorney’s Office (Gray) and someone who isn’t an empty suit (Bowser).

      I’m sure if Fenty were still in DC and running this time, lots of us would be happy to vote for him a 3rd time.

    • you can’t let one or two racists that post on this forum make you change your vote. I think the majority of people with the “vote Gray/get Catania” mindset are not doing it just to elect a white person to Mayor– they’re doing it because both Gray and Bowser are fools.

      • They may both be fools, but at least Gray has been able to accomplish something in his time on the council. Bowser hasn’t done anything of value in her time as a member.

    • Catania’s education policy is a good reason NOT to vote for him. Let’s face it: politicians’ ideas on education generally suck, and do more harm than good.

    • I understand your concern, but you really can’t let that govern your vote. I know a lot of people (myself included) who were very happy with Gray and would have strongly preferred him even over Catania if it weren’t for the most recent allegations and the likelihood of an indictment at some point. I am not impressed with Bowser’s intellect or ability to articulate her position on almost any issue, but from what I can tell from the polls her base of support is white folks.

    • Has anyone ever drilled down on Catania as far as “education reform”. What radical new proposal has he actually drafted as legislation and gotten put to a vote? Zero. What exactly has Catania reformed in our school system? I see him visiting every school in the city, which is respectable, but if you’re not changing anything about what goes on in any of them, so what? It all feels ceremonial and I don’t see an ounce of policy. Catania also seems to have almost no policy prescription for other issues facing the city: affordable housing, improving transportation, etc.

      • Actually it was put to a vote last summer and lost. He was even willing to vote in favor of the anti-Wal Mart bill if other council members would vote for his education bill. They declined.

        I’m not saying the legislation would have been beneficial, but he did draft something that was put to a vote.

        • So, the education reform crusader can’t convince 6 other people to support his proposal, but we’re supposed to believe he can create a mandate to lead almost 700,000 people? Sounds to me like he has more work to do learning how to become an effective councilmember before he moves on to on-the-job training trying to learn how to be an effective mayor.

          I also can’t wait to read this piece of legislation. You wouldn’t happen to know the title off-hand, would you?

          • justinbc

            I’m no supporter of Catania, but that’s not exactly a realistic comparison. Convincing the opposition party who actually has a say in the outcome of your proposal, regardless of their numbers, is going to be substantially more difficult than doing anything related to a populace which has a fleeting notion of real influence. Just look at the U.S. Congress if you need a more obvious example.

          • Google it. The Washington City Paper (or Washingtonian, forget) had an article last August profiling his push for education reform.

          • I believe that was the bill to increase per student funding for low-income students so that schools serving them could enhance services.

  • I was really torn between Wells and Grey (Grey only for the strategic reasons people have already mentioned, that he is more likely to beat Bowser and then possibly lose the General). And, even if Grey ended up winning, I don’t think he’s necessary been a negative impact on the city. Kind of neutral, which is fine.

    I ended up voting for Wells and I’m afraid I may regret it… eek.

  • I’m voting for Wells. I understand the “strategic voting” impulse but those kind of things can come back to haunt you.

    So I’m voting for the person who I actually think would make the best mayor. Yeah, I am disappointed that he didn’t support overturning the Height Act and refuses to take a stand against these annoying churches and their entitlement to illegal parking, but whatever. All the others are even worse and I’m going to write off these stances as electioneering.

    I’m expecting Bowser to win but I can’t vote for Gray. Yeah, I don’t think he’s done too badly as Mayor, and he’d certainly be better than Bowers, but we as voters have to take a stand on what’s acceptable and what’s not. What Gray (allegedly) did falls into the latter category.

    So if it’s Bowser that means I’ll just vote for Catania in the fall. I have no idea what his policies are but he has to be better than her. Besides, I think it would do the city good to have a non Democrat as Mayor.

    • I’m curious. Why do you think it would do this city good to have a non-Democrat as mayor? You don’t seem to be making this statement as a way of supporting a particular set of policies.

      • You’re right: it has nothing to do with policies but more that the machine politics of the Democratic party get old. They deserve a kick in the pants. Sorry for not being more clear. I am fairly left of center and generally support the police of national Democrats but I feel the city level version the Democrats is less about policy and more about politicking and personality.

        • To continue my own follow-up, let me quote Jack Nicholson as the Joker from the original Batman movie in 1989, as further immortalized in Prince’s awesome “Batdance” song from that same movie:


          Sorry, couldn’t resist!

  • To me, this election is not about who you like the most, but who you like the least. For many, people like Gray the least, but for me, it’s Bowser.

    As a Ward 4 resident, I’m appalled by Bowser’s absense in dealing with crime and development in our neighborhood. Why are the Park Place retail spaces still empty? Why was nothing done to stop the crime on teh 4800 block of Georgia Ave that forced 4 businesses to close? What specific actions has Bowser taken in the wake of countless shootings and robberies throughout Petworth and Brightwood over the past few years.

    I like Well’s commitment to urbanism, but he doesn’t have a chance in this primary. Despite my apprehension and believe that Gray knew about the shadow campaign, I know what I’m getting with Gray and I will certainly be okay if DC continues on it’s current trend When I vote for Gray, it will be more about being a vote against Bowser than a vote for Gray.

    • Totally agree. Bowser has been ABSENT on the 4800 block of GA Ave. We were starting to get some concentration of businesses, but then poof, they all get robbed multiple times and are gone.

      Bowser should have pulled rank, and if needed station a police car on that corner 24/7. Brightwood/Northern Petworth needed that, and she failed us by not taking action.

  • It seems like primaries get too poisoned with notions of strategy. I’m voting for Wells because he seems like the best candidate. If Gray wins the primary, I’ll go with Catania. If Bowser wins the primary, I’ll have to research a little more. But in my mind, primaries are for voting for who you think is the best person for the job. If everyone who liked Wells, but was voting for someone else strategically, actually voted for Wells, who knows maybe Wells could win.

    • BTW for an example of how strategic thinking in primaries can go very wrong, see Virginia 2009.

    • BTW, for an example of how strategic voting in primaries can go very wrong, see Virginia 2009.

    • Also, for recent failures of the anti-________ vote, see John Kerry, Mitt Romney, Creigh Deeds. When an anti-other-guy candidate wins the primary, they don’t have a strong base and lose.

  • Catania is the best candidate on the issues I care most about: education, gay rights, and good government.

    I hadn’t considered voting for Grey (OMG I HATE HIM) as a vote for Catania in the primary. That’s a good idea, especially since I don’t particularly like any of his challengers.

    Tommy is snobby and ineffective. He takes credit for the schools in Ward 6 but hasn’t actually done that much. It’s the parents, principals, and staff who built those schools. Other examples of Wells’ ineffectiveness = letting Jack Evans roll him on redistricting, warehousing homeless families at DC General without a long term plan, and the on-again, off-again H Street street car project.

    Jack is like Francis from House of Cards: a narcissistic power-broker who always finds a way to get his way. See. e.g. Jack’s obsession with bringing the Redskins back to Hill East and redistricting Reservation 13 into Ward 7. If you vote for him, just know that it’s ALWAYS about Jack. Never about his constituents. Never about you.

    Andy Shallal is too traditional in his approach to education.

    I don’t know anything about Bowser.

    • “He takes credit for the schools in Ward 6 but hasn’t actually done that much”

      But what has Catania done for schools…anywhere?

  • Please, DC, as a public educator for 5 years, I have followed this race intently. I have vacillated among a number of the candidates, read their bios, read City Paper, listened to transcripts, etc. bottom line: I’m well-informed about this election.

    I overwhelmingly urge you to reject this Bowser wave. She refuses to endorse Kaya Henderson. This is a sticking point for me because as any DCPS teacher knows, Kaya is crucial to the success of our schools. She has been a transformational and cogent voice for our community and now she’s going to be taking direction from someone who speaks in platitudes? Muriel hasn’t a clue about education. She spoke at a commencement ceremony a couple of years back and jargon’d her way through a 20-minute speech that sounded more like a campaign rally.

    She sits on the Metro Board of Directors and is conspicuously absent from votes that affect the ridership.

    And, most recently, she hasn’t been able to name a single legislative bill that she wrote or sponsored.

    I’m not sure who I’m supporting yet – because as much as Gray is corrupt, it’s hard to deny he has done good things for our city… but I do know that I have gone from a Bowser supporter to one who sees through her political veneer.

    • From the Gray campaign:

      Would be funny if there wasn’t such a high likelihood that she’ll become mayor without having to demonstrate the ability to be effective in office. Now, maybe she has some innate skills we don’t know about that supercede real experience, but I haven’t seen them yet.

    • @Sean

      How did you feel about Fenty and Rhee? If you supported them, I’ll listen to what you have to say.

      • Jacob, I started in DCPS in 2009. Rhee’s second year. Her approach was needed and necessary. I supported Fenty and I supported her policies. Kaya continues Rhee’s policies but with the communal touch Rhee never had.

        If you work in DCPS, you know how important that piece is. Kaya is awesome and I love working under her administration as a teacher. Her vision is sound and she’s a doer.

      • @jacob

        Jacob, I started in DCPS in 2009. Rhee’s second year. Her approach was needed and necessary. I supported Fenty and I supported her policies. Kaya continues Rhee’s policies but with the communal touch Rhee never had.

        If you work in DCPS, you know how important that piece is. Kaya is awesome and I love working under her administration as a teacher. Her vision is sound and she’s a doer.

  • i am a registered and republican (although not sure why, so disgruntled with the party and have been for years) so won’t be voting in the mayoral primary. it’s going to be a classic case of dc voting where the opposition is split and the incumbent wins – and then all the mostly white progressives will be made that they can’t get anyone elected citywide or even in wards where they have a significant presence. Happens every election. Some of the progressives need to shed the ideals a little bit and learn to consolidate around one candidate.

  • 134 comments in and not a single positive comment about Bowser. Enough said!

    • Look at the results of this poll so far. Only 10% for Gray and 45% for Wells. Yet, everybody here seems to be against Bowser. If Bowser wins the primary, she’s going to win the general. Think about it: The majority of democratic party-line voters who vote for Gray in the primary will still vote democratic in the general (i.e. – for Bowser).

      If you are a Wells supporter but don’t like Bowser – think about what is more important to you.

      1. Voting for the candidate you like best even though he is unlikely to win.
      2. Voting to ensure that the candidate you don’t like (Bowser) does not become mayor, because that is a very real possibility.

      If #1 is more important to you, then go ahead with your Wells vote. But if #2 is more important, then vote Gray.

      • Well put – deciding between #1 and #2 this has been my main issue, but as I think DC has progressed well in the past 2 years, based on the paradigm of “innocent until proven guilty” I’m leaning towards #2.

  • Just vote with your heart, not game theory. Vote Tommy Wells. None of these polls take into account first time voters or people without landlines. Think if you would even qualify to participate in one of these polls. If everyone just votes for who they think is the best candidate, the best candidate will win. Vote Tommy Wells.

  • My eyes are too tired to read all of these comments. So if someone could just fill me in on what strategy I should play to make sure Bowser DOES NOT take office, that would be great. Thanks.

    • @brightwood, I’m happy to do so:
      Most people agree: Want Bowser for Mayor? Vote Bowser next week. Want Catania for Mayor? Vote for Grey next week.
      Anyone else is a wasted vote.

      • I am torn on this. I really like Wells and am wondering if the polls could be significantly underestimating his support… but I don’t want Bowser to end up winning. I’d prefer Catania over Bowser.

        • The polls are definitely underestimating his support and younger and new voters are not represented at ALL. Vote for Wells!

          • Sorry, dude that’s not going to happen. Don’t deluded yourself. He doesn’t have the votes and the younger voters aren’t turning out. To stop the Bowser clown, vote Gray. It’s that simple.

          • The younger voters aren’t turning out? How the hell do you propose to know that?

      • Wells has always been my choice. But I have the ol’ “will my vote actually hurt” dilemma happening. Thanks for the strategy session. 🙂

  • Can any of the 438 people on here who said that they’ll be voting for Bowser explain why?
    It seems like everything I’ve ever read on PoPville about Bowser has been that her Ward 4 constituents find her unresponsive and are unimpressed with her.
    If I knew that she was a Fenty protegee and didn’t know much else about her, I’d probably be inclined to vote for her. But everything I’ve read about her seems to suggest that she has vision, but not much oomph for actually DOING things.

  • randomduck

    Tommy Wells is my choice, and I encourage folks to vote for him.

    Is he perfect? No. But he stands by principles, unwaveringly, even if it isn’t a popular stance. He’s not bought by corporate donors or PACs, and his platform is the most well developed and specific of all the candidates. His plans for tackling the ever-worsening education shortcomings in DC, the systemic, multi-generational poverty problems that plague areas of the District, and bringing corrupt practices to an end are well researched and spelled out completely. Wells isn’t al platitudes and soundbites: he brings a complete game to his campaign, to his current Ward 6 office, and will do so as mayor.

  • hispanicandproud

    Glad I’m not voting.

  • I’m assuming the people who say they are voting for Vincent Orange just did so as a joke, right? if so, I’m laughing with you. If not, I’m laughing at you.

  • Suppose Gray wins the primary. Who would become the nominee/mayor if he was charged
    (a) before the election in November
    (b) after winning re-election?

Comments are closed.