Gray holds first major fundraising party at Terra home
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, a Democratic candidate for mayor, held his first major fundraiser last night at the Northwest home of Judith Terra, a socialite and philanthropist who four years earlier was raising money for Gray's rival, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D).
At times, the fundraiser appeared more like a campaign pep-rally than it did a serious check-writing event. About 100 people attended.
Spotted: Neil Richardson, a former Fenty aide; former Mayor Sharon Pratt; Stanley Jackson, a former deputy mayor under former Mayor Anthony Williams; Robert Malson, president of the District of Columbia Hospital Association; Alexander Chi, chairman of the Chinatown Revitalization Council; Avivia Kempner, a documentary director and Ward 3 activist; Adam Clampitt, former at-large council candidate; Pierpont Mobly, a former White House advisor; and Virginia Williams, the former mayor's mother.
"I happen to know it has taken a lot of courage for many of you to be here tonight," said Terra, an apparent reference to reports that Fenty fundraisers are urging donors to remain loyal to the mayor. Later, Terra asked the crowd to work feverishly this summer "to get out the vote."
"We're going to raise big money, too, but don't let money be the determining factor...because we have the votes," said Terra, the widow of the late Daniel J. Terra, who made a fortune in the chemical industry and later was an ambassador in the Reagan administration.
When Gray took the microphone, he offered a preview of the speech he plans to deliver at his official campaign kickoff on Saturday, and he started trying to stake out differences between himself and Fenty on school reform.
"We share the same values, same goals," Gray said. "We want a first-class educational system, but we can do more. We focused a lot on K-12 education these past four years, but there is a lot more to education than K through 12."
Gray added he wants to create universal pre-kindergarten and implement a groundbreaking universal infant and toddler public education program.
Gray didn't mention by Fenty by name, but roused up the crowd when he told them he had no choice but to enter the mayor's race.
"I could have had an easy summer," said Gray, referring to the conventional wisdom that he would not have had an opponent if he had he sought re-election as chairman. "I could have gone out and played baseball, but I could not sit here through another four years of this."
Gray concluded his remarks by quoting a song from one of his favorite singers, Marvin Gaye.
"Let's Get it On," Gray said.
--Tim Craig and Nikita Stewart
Tim Craig and Nikita Stewart
April 22, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories: 2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart , Tim Craig | Tags: Adrian Fenty, Vincent C. Gray, Washington DC
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