By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. Editor
Mayor Muriel Bowser, the winner of the Democratic primary for mayor of Washington, D.C. night, is on her way to a history-making third term in office in November 2022.
The two-term Democrat beat her three rivals, Councilman Robert White (at-large), Trayon White (Ward eight) and James Butler. Bower walked away from the Democratic primary race with just under 50 percent of the total vote, according to data from the D.C. Board of Elections.
Her closest rival, Robert White, garnered 38.5 percent of the vote, according to the Board of Elections.
“For the third time, I stand before you, humbled and grateful that you have chosen me to be your Democratic nominee; today, I stand in the footsteps of Marion Barry,” Bowser said during the acceptance remarks at Franklin Hall in Northwest, D.C.
Bowser managed to keep a plurality of D.C. voters on board with a traditional strategy to combat violent crime, a major issue during the campaign. While Bowser promoted a moderate, approach focused on investing in additional police resources, her two main opponents encouraged strengthening community-based resources to tackle the violent crime surge gripping the District.
White pledged to work with Bowser during the next four years. “I want to congratulate Mayor Bowser,” White said during his concession speech.
“I want to let her know that I am here to work with you,” he added. However, White left the door open for a run for mayor in 2006 as a crowded room of supporters at Georgia Avenue’s Hook Hall cheered him on.
“For the folks who know me, you all know this isn’t the first time I’ve fallen down,” he said.
The D.C. mayoral race mirrored the growing sense of the two Washington that have developed during Bowser’s years in the mayor’s chair. While communities in sections of Washington, D.C. have flourished since Bowser took office, other D.C. residents still live in food deserts and inadequate housing.
Her opponents struck a chord with voters who felt the city’s development comes at the expense of low-wealth and moderate-income communities. Those who can’t afford the new developments, high-rises and high-priced establishments that have developed across the city over the last 8 years.
The District’s once majority-Black population has dwindled to 46. Many Black families have migrated to neighboring Prince George’s, Montgomery and Charles County, Md., out of necessity, unable to afford housing in the District.
D.C. is historically a Democratic stronghold, but Bowser’s campaign will need to stay visible in the coming months and deliver on her crime-fighting approach as the District heads into the summer months. D.C.’s homicide rate of 97 persons represents a 15 percent increase over the 84 violent deaths in the city this time last year. The District has experienced an 11 percent rise in violent crimes overall, according to data from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Bowser’s primary win brings her one step closer to a third term as mayor of the District of Columbia. She will face Stacia Hall, Republican Mayoral candidate in November 2022. Bowser hopes to join former Mayor Marion Berry (1979 to 1991 and 2005 to 2014) as the second mayor to serve the District for three terms.
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