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Gray wins over Fenty in Ward 3 straw poll

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray edged past Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in the Ward 3 Democratic straw poll, eking out a victory in a part of town that was widely believed to be the mayor's strongest base of support.

The committee held its straw poll, which was open to any registered Democrat who lived in Ward 3, last week before and during a mayoral candidates forum. But the results were not released until Thursday night.

Gray defeated Fenty by six votes, 174 to 168. Former television reporter Leo Alexander, who is also seeking the nomination, received four votes.

Gray campaign manager Adam Rubinson, who lives in Ward 3, said the result was "a true testament to the grass-roots organization we are building."

Now, anyone who counts yard signs -- as D.C. Wire does -- knows it still looks like Fenty has the advantage in Upper Northwest. But the straw poll results are another symbolic boost to the Gray campaign, helping it counteract the conventional wisdom that he would struggle to win over white voters.

The results, which follow the trouncing the mayor took from the D.C. Democratic Committee straw poll last weekend, also raise questions about how solid Fenty's get-out-the-vote efforts really are.

In addition to releasing the results of the straw poll, the Ward 3 Democratic committee members voted Thursday night on whether to endorse candidates. Gray once again came out on top, but he fell short of securing the panel's official support. To give an endorsement, 75 percent of committee members had to line up behind a candidate. Gray received 63 percent, another sign that Fenty is struggling to win over the most active members of the Democratic Party.

In what Ward 3 committee chairman Thomas M. Smith called the surprise of the night, the committee nearly endorsed challenger Douglas Sloan over Eleanor Holmes Norton in the congressional delegate race.

Sixty-five percent of committee members voted to endorse Sloan, causing him to fall just short of the 75 percent threshold. Party leaders say Sloan's support for statehood and Norton's recent failure to get the voting bills approved without language eliminating local gun laws were factors in the outcome of the vote.

In the race for D.C. Council chairman, the committee decided to endorse council member Kwame Brown (D-At large) over former council member Vincent Orange. According to the Brown campaign, he won 93 percent of the vote.

The committee also voted to endorse D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) for reelection and Mike Panetta for reelection in the Shadow Representative race.

In the at-large council race, the committee decided against an endorsement. But 60 percent of members voted to support incumbent Phil Mendelson.

Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  June 18, 2010; 10:13 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , D.C. Democrats & Republicans , Eleanor Holmes Norton , Kwame Brown , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray , vincent gray  
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Comments

But Fenty was having so much fun setting taxicab prices. What happened?

Posted by: starclimber9 | June 18, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Now will the Post start doing more balanced reporting?

People are disgruntled and unsatified all over this City. Many people with common sense see the glaring failures of the Fenty Admin. The same mindset applies to schools and Rhee too. These issues are not as racial as the Post prints, people just see bad government.

Posted by: oknow1 | June 18, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

oknow1: I agree with you. From where I sit, Fenty and Rhee have done nothing but ride the wave put in place by Williams and Janey. Sure, Fenty's opened a few rec centers and put his name on a couple of ball fields but with the economy the way it is and people out of work (some of them fired by Fenty and Rhee) I think there were more pressing issues Fenty could have tackled.

As for Rhee, she's done nothing but create chaos in DCPS. Test scores have been rising for the past decade so she can't take credit for that--although she is. As a DCPS teacher, I can tell you that the working environment for teachers has gotten worse as we've watched principals who are as incompetent at leadership as Michelle Rhee is, wreak havoc in schools. In spite of this, the teachers still perform and our students are learning--when we're not testing or doing test prep.

As for the new contract, the money is great but as usual, we'll never see the additional supports which is what we really need. Those things have been promised in the past and DCPS never delivers.

When will this country start listening to teachers and get back to the basics of teaching reading, writing, math and providing PE, music, art in every school? Also, when will parents step up to the plate and take some responsibility? In addition, students also need to sign a "contract" that they will come to school prepared to learn and assume some responsibility for their own learning? Way too much is expected of teachers. Far more then when I came through school in Fairfax County years ago and we learned much more then our kids are today. Back then, we weren't tested to death either.

I pray Gray will continue this momentum and I hope his first act as mayor is to hand Rhee a pink slip and show her that what goes around comes around.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | June 18, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

This will certainly get ward 3 voters and Fenty fans from all Wards to sit up and take notice.

They will wonder what their neighbors see in Gray. They will start thinking more critically about Fenty. Of course, they have to know about the results of the Ward 3 pol. It seems like news worthy of the print edition, don’t you think?

It's a snapshot in time that is very favorable for Gray. It suggests that the energy in ward 3 is with him at the moment. It also suggests to me (because I was at the Ward 3 event) that if more people had voted after watching the candidates speak instead of before, Gray would have gotten even more votes. Fenty made such a poor showing that I suspect some Fenty supporters came out Gray supporters.

Posted by: efavorite | June 18, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Fenty's gotv efforts involve his worker stealing Gray yard signs, intimidating citizens by knocking on their door even though they clearly have a Gray for Mayor yard sign and then asking them if they work for DC government or what their name is, like they are putting your name is the Fenty Administration black book to be blackballed and fired for exercising your right as a citizen of the US to vote. These tactics remind me of the mobster days when they ran elections.

Example: (This email was sent to my listserv --- I removed the name for privacy reasons)

This is very interesting, not just because of the vote results, but also because Fenty is on my block right now in Ward 6 and his workers knocked my Gray sign down. They knocked on my door and said the Mayor wanted to talk to me, and I said no thanks, I have already committed my vote and pointed at my yard sign. Then the guy said, are you _______________, and I said yes, and he said well the mayor still wants to talk to you. Fenty at the time was across the street at my neighbor's house. So, I said, when he is ready, I'm here and I closed my door. A few minutes later, I look out my window and my sign had been knocked over. I couldn't believe it. This is what you get from an arrogant mayor with equally arrogant campaign workers.

Posted by: lacairaine | June 18, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Vincent Gray continues receiving endorsement after endorsement and winning straw poll after straw poll.

Voters are realizing that Adrian Fenty is a corrupt dishonest person who illegally gives $85,000,000 in contracts to his fraternity brothers.

One wonders if Fenty wasn't able to read from prepared notes and his Blackberry, would he ever be able to speak at events?

Bye-bye Fenty - you suck !

Posted by: ashafer_usa | June 18, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

If yard signs in ward 4 look good for Fenty, it's because of the mass theft of Gray signs and the bumoer stickers that have been placed on cars without the consent of the owners. My house was hit twice with missing Gray signs and several houses in my neighborhood not only had Gray signs missing but Fenty signs were put in the yards. His canpaigning is as nasty as his governance. But he will get back what he dished out: cold shoulders, scowling faces and the biggest pink slip ever.

Posted by: candycane1 | June 18, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Sloan beat Norton. That is remarkable and good. (Sloan is running against Norton for the delegate seat.) Norton, 73 years-old, has been Delegate for 20 years and she has accomplished nothing. Give someone else a chance.

Posted by: ObjectiveReader1 | June 18, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I have had aggressive Fenty campaigners knocking at my door as well. You have to meet aggression with aggression. They quickly cower down. And I mean don't give them a chance to complete a sentence before they catch the bad end of a door slam. I simply state I have made my decision, I am supporting Gray, it is not up for discussion, and close the door. If they knock over your sign, as they have mine, just go back and put it back up, if they steal it, order another one and donate to the Gray campaign.

This Fenty aggression towards voters is going to backfire.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 18, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Its time to send out of touch Norton home to collect her government pension check. After 20 years of non competition, maybe we'll finally have someone who will force her to answer questions about her lack of success in dealing with DC problems on the Federal level.

Norton is the tired old past. Lets send her packing!

Posted by: NewEra | June 18, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Gray should be elected as the mayor of DC symbolizing a declining civilization just like Rome.

Posted by: Calabrese99 | June 18, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I am getting a bit annoyed with how slow reporters are.

If it was any candidate of note, they would be beating Fenty. The writing has been on the wall for over a year. But some how reporters don't understand.

We read too. We read about all the scandals. Or if you do business with the city--your competent agency chief was replaced with a twenty something, doe eyed type from Minnesota (or other places not DC) who was someone's assistant last month.

Everyone has a reason...and it is probably more than just one reason. I as a former Fenty supporter cant remember when I had enough. I can't remember the actual straw back moment. But I do remember the first issue of note--and it started with his appointment of Linda Singer to the role as AG when she wasn't even barred in DC.

Scandal after scandal later it just became too much.

So less than 90 days to the election I am suppose to forget all of that--wait for a knock on the door of someone who hasn't spoken to meet since he has got elected or his out of town bully acting campaign staff earning 100 dollars a day--and, what then come back to the fold.

You are kidding?

Everyone is making this decision on some level. Some jumped on the minute a viable candidate came--(honestly it could have been anyone of value). Others will wait until they see Gray campaign with vigor to avoid another Linda Cropp issues, and others won't say anything at all they will wear a green Fenty shirt, put his sign out--and even talk to Mayor right before they go into the booth and pull the lever for Gray.

Posted by: Fatmanny | June 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I am getting a bit annoyed with how slow reporters are.

If it was any candidate of note, they would be beating Fenty. The writing has been on the wall for over a year. But some how reporters don't understand.

We read too. We read about all the scandals. Or if you do business with the city--your competent agency chief was replaced with a twenty something, doe eyed type from Minnesota (or other places not DC) who was someone's assistant last month.

Everyone has a reason...and it is probably more than just one reason. I as a former Fenty supporter cant remember when I had enough. I can't remember the actual straw back moment. But I do remember the first issue of note--and it started with his appointment of Linda Singer to the role as AG when she wasn't even barred in DC.

Scandal after scandal later it just became too much.

So less than 90 days to the election I am suppose to forget all of that--wait for a knock on the door of someone who hasn't spoken to meet since he has got elected or his out of town bully acting campaign staff earning 100 dollars a day--and, what then come back to the fold.

You are kidding?

Everyone is making this decision on some level. Some jumped on the minute a viable candidate came--(honestly it could have been anyone of value). Others will wait until they see Gray campaign with vigor to avoid another Linda Cropp issues, and others won't say anything at all they will wear a green Fenty shirt, put his sign out--and even talk to Mayor right before they go into the booth and pull the lever for Gray.

Posted by: Fatmanny | June 18, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I am getting a bit annoyed with how slow reporters are.

If it was any candidate of note, they would be beating Fenty. The writing has been on the wall for over a year. But some how reporters don't understand.

We read too. We read about all the scandals. Or if you do business with the city--your competent agency chief was replaced with a twenty something, doe eyed type from Minnesota (or other places not DC) who was someone's assistant last month.

Everyone has a reason...and it is probably more than just one reason. I as a former Fenty supporter cant remember when I had enough. I can't remember the actual straw back moment. But I do remember the first issue of note--and it started with his appointment of Linda Singer to the role as AG when she wasn't even barred in DC.

Scandal after scandal later it just became too much.

So less than 90 days to the election I am suppose to forget all of that--wait for a knock on the door of someone who hasn't spoken to meet since he has got elected or his out of town bully acting campaign staff earning 100 dollars a day--and, what then come back to the fold.

You are kidding?

Everyone is making this decision on some level. Some jumped on the minute a viable candidate came--(honestly it could have been anyone of value). Others will wait until they see Gray campaign with vigor to avoid another Linda Cropp issues, and others won't say anything at all they will wear a green Fenty shirt, put his sign out--and even talk to Mayor right before they go into the booth and pull the lever for Gray.

Posted by: Fatmanny | June 18, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

WOW! AF's reign of terror really might be coming to an end. But he won't believe he's in trouble until the primary results start rolling in.

Posted by: ssmd11 | June 18, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post has to accept the fact that they picked the wrong guy.

The antipathy for Fenty is bone deep in this city, whereas Gray is highly respected.

Posted by: tacard1 | June 18, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I have had Plenty of Fenty. I can not vote for a man that mistreats teachers, children, mental ill people, senior citizens, disabled people, gay/lesbian people, African-Americans, DC government employees, police, and fire fighters. This is a short list of all of the people Fenty has scrapped on in four long years.

Posted by: fivetogo | June 19, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If anyone sees a new black Dodge van with stars and bars on it taking yard signs, please get the license plate and report it. I filed a police report because my husband actually witnessed a yard sign theft--in broad daylight. If you witness the sign being taken, you can report it. If you don't, you can't. If we can get enough people to file reports, we may be able to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator. I had a reporter tell me they have a policy of not reporting this activity (unless you have it on videotape) because sometimes the opposing campaign will take down yard signs to fire up their own workers. Regardless, this trespassing and sign stealing should be a violation of political free speech. But as the DC ACLU chapter told me, it's been happening for years in the District. Well, a history of wrong-doing still doesn't make the actions right. Rosa Parks taught us that.

Posted by: NativeDCPolitico | June 20, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Gray may have won over Fenty in a ward 3 straw poll; the real story is who won in the latest case of domestic abuse at MAYOR Fenty's home?

Posted by: JUDGEWRIGHT1 | June 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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