D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

The D.C. Democratic State Committee, the official organ of the Democratic Party for the District, held a party unity breakfast for the winners and competitors in the June 14 primary. The June 23 event was held at the Busboys & Poets in downtown. Forty people attended the event, including D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D); D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D); D.C. Council members Anita Bonds (D-At Large), Vincent Orange (D-At Large), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), David Grosso (I-At Large), and Elissa Silverman (I-At Large).

“We Democrats are coming together in the city. We are going to do something historic in November,” Bowser said to cheers. “We are going to the polls to vote for D.C. statehood and we are going to elect the first woman to the White House.” She wore a “Hillary Clinton for President” button.

The Bowser administration and the D.C. Council are set to ask voters in the Nov.8 general election to approve a referendum that would declare the District the 51st state.

While Bowser was speaking, D.C. Council candidates she didn’t back – presumptive D.C. Council members Robert White (At large) and Vincent Gray (Ward 7) – were in the back holding conversations while Trayon White (Ward 8) listened to part of the mayor’s speech and talked to people during other parts.

Meanwhile, Bowser’s closest ally on the council, D.C. Council member Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) listened earnestly to the mayor. D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who had no opponent in the primary, listened quietly as well.

To the surprise of many, D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) walked into the restaurant with Gray, who was once her political ally. Gray defeated Alexander in the Democratic primary election for Ward 7 council member. The two were all smiles and supportive of each other. “I would like to thank Yvette Alexander for her service in Ward 7,” Gray said. “She and I had an hour-long conversation last week on how we can move the ward forward together.”

“It’s over,” Villareal “V.J.” Johnson, who worked on the Alexander re-election effort, told the AFRO of the rivalry between the two. “It expired on 8 p.m. on June 14, 2016.”

Gray told the AFRO that he has been asked many, many times about whether he will run for mayor in 2018 for the past 18 months. “I have never made a political decision two years in advance,” the former mayor said.

Gray, who represented Ward 7 on the council from 2005-2007, said he will focus the next seven months on a community-wide plan to uplift the ward. “On Jan. 2, [2017] we will use this plan to move the ward forward,” he said.

Vincent Orange (D-At-large), who lost the primary election to Trayon White, told the crowd that he will remain active in politics after he leaves office. “It is time for us to unite and work with our new leadership,” he said. “As for me, I’m not going anywhere. There are more chapters to write and more fish to fry.”

While May wasn’t in attendance, White mentioned her. “I want to thank LaRuby May for stepping up my game,” he said.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) left the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives where the Democrats were staging a sit-in to get a vote on gun control legislation to join the breakfast.

In her remarks, Norton said the Democrats could win the presidency and the Congress because the “Republicans are in disarray.”