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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.

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"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

By 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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I am telling you this campaign will be filled with "old-school" music blaring from the car. You will have Marvin Gaye's Let's Get the Temptation's Ain't to proud to beg. While Fenty is hand-shaking I guess Gray will be hand-dancing...Alexander you better brush up on some dance lessons...or better yet can you sing? Talking about a song and dance campaign, this is starting out to be hilarious.

Posted by: PowerandPride | April 22, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahah and I tell you the Gestapo Fenty will be sending out his henchmen to threaten anybody who criticizes and/or goes to the other side with death. Hahahahah. Yeah you know that dictator Fenty the one who hires friends and triple charges dc voters for work. Hahahahaha Yeah that Fenty who hires Directors not based on their knowledge or experience (i.e. Chancellor b/c Rhee doesn’t have a PHD), but on how well they just shut up and listen and never question him because he’s the king. Oh and William Lightfoot Fenty’s campaign manager…..ain’t he from the old school too? Yeah you know Fenty the one “who makes those tough decisions” on cutting programs that help the old, young, and poor. I vote for Fenty is a vote to send D.C. back to the control board days.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | April 22, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

This has become a circus full of clowns.

Posted by: Ward4DC | April 22, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

100 people. That is a pretty sorry pep-rally? No serious check writing. Are you joking?

And, nevermind the money? Just get out the vote? How are you going to do that with no money?

And, is that really the platform. We have the same values, we have the same goals. I am just not him. So vote for me.


Posted by: politicalrealist | April 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

One candidate has 30 years more experience than his rival, is a consensus builder, thinks before he acts, and is very level headed. The other candidate is a young,narcissistic, egotistical hot head who rules by fear and intimidation, and takes credit for accomplishments which were initiated by previous administrations while lining the pockets of his friends with his backdoor deals. Which candidate would you choose?

Posted by: starclimber9 | April 22, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Campaigning without permission, Fenty.
Fenty, please stop putting your vote for Fenty signs in front yards without the owners permission!!! My neighbors have to trouble themselves by putting them in the trash. Gray, please send me your sign!!!

Posted by: cjack10 | April 23, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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