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Post editorial board endorses Adrian Fenty

The Washington Post's editorial board has endorsed Adrian Fenty for a second term as mayor, more than six weeks ahead of the Sept. 14 primary.

"The District of Columbia today is a better place to live and work than it was four years ago," the board writes. "It is for that reason that we enthusiastically endorse Mr. Fenty in the Democratic primary for mayor. He should have another four years to entrench the progress he has made." The Fenty pick follows a January Post editorial that called on Gray to join the mayoral race "because the city could benefit from a full-throated debate on Mr. Fenty, his programs and the issues facing the District."

The endorsement comes as "no surprise" to Vincent Gray's campaign (and plenty of others). The board endorsed Fenty in 2006, and has steadfastly supported him since -- especially on education reform initiatives. Gray partisans will take succor in the editorial's description of their candidate as a "devoted and sober-minded public servant" who "has worked tirelessly to reach out to people and build consensus on key issues."

What is notable is the early timing of the endorsement.

I did some cursory research, looking back at 20 years of Post endorsements for high-level executive positions -- the presidency, the Maryland and Virginia governorships and the District mayoralty. This appears to be the earliest Post endorsement since Parris Glendening was the board's pick for Maryland governor in 1994. That endorsement came Sept. 11 for a Nov. 8 general election -- ahead of even that year's Maryland primary.

The editorial board is hosting an online forum where you can weigh in on its pick.

Feel free to debate the impact of The Post's endorsement here in the comments. There is one advantage the early timing gives the Fenty camp -- they have plenty of time to send out mailers touting the endorsement, targeting households where it will most have impact.

Do note: The editorial board does its work entirely separately of The Post newsroom, of which myself, Nikita Stewart, Tim Craig, Ann Marimow and other city reporters are a part. We did not participate in the board's interviews or deliberations, nor did we have any advance knowledge of the pick

By Mike DeBonis  |  July 30, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Adrian Fenty , The District , Vincent Gray  
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Comments

Wow, What a big surprise! However, it is one of few.

Posted by: candycane1 | July 31, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

"....the Post newsroom, of which myself, Nikita Stewart, Tim Craig, Ann Marimow and other city reporters are a part."

Putting "myself" first, DeBonis? Awkward construction, no respect of seniority, or of old-school courtesy either. But, that's why we need editors.

What I do like, ribbing aside, is your conscience. When I first read your comment on this being "notable" timing, I thought there's always a forced something wags say about the timing of something that has to happen, sooner or later.
What pleased me about this and your other reporting is that you researched twenty years of WaPo editorial board endorsements to tell us this is the earliest the board has jumped into a race with an outright endorsement. Now, that's real data.

Posted by: incredulous | August 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I really appreciate your reporting and desire to try and get to the heart of the matter on all of the issues and candidates, even if your editorial board sucks ballz. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: LoveTheCapitol | August 1, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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