Vincent Gray wins ballot lottery, will top Democratic candidate list
Talk about a bad year for incumbents. Not a single current officeholder facing a challenge in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary will appear at the head of his or her respective ballot.
The starred-and-striped hat used for the Board of Elections and Ethics' traditional ballot-position lottery this afternoon did no favors for power brokers -- starting with Mayor Adrian Fenty.
Prime challenger Vincent Gray will top the list of mayor candidates on the Democratic primary ballot, to be followed by Ernest Johnson, Leo Alexander, Carlos Allen, and Sulaimon Brown. Fenty will take the bottom slot, just above "WRITE-IN, IF ANY."
Truth is, in a race as high-profile as that mayoralty this year, ballot position probably isn't going to give Gray that much of a bump. If someone's showing up to vote in a local primary, chances are pretty high they showed up to vote for mayor, and they showed up with a candidate in mind.
But the down-ballot races are a different story. In council and congressional races, the order could have a more profound, if still minimal, effect. But hey: If it worked for Alvin Greene...
Political newcomer Calvin Gurley is No. 1 on the council chairman list, with front-runners Vincent Orange and Kwame Brown next. State Board of Education member Dorothy Douglas brings up the rear.
Shadow Sen. Michael D. Brown will head the list of at-large council candidates, ahead of incumbent Phil Mendelson and long-running challenger Clark Ray. Brown stands to get a double dip of help from the ballot position and from potential name confusion with current at-large council member Michael A. Brown.
"I was raised Catholic," Sen. Brown said afterward. "I said 12 Hail Marys, two Our Fathers, and a prayer to St. Jude" -- the patron of lost causes. "I consider this my first endorsement, by the Lord Almighty."
In the congressional delegate slot, Douglass Sloan will appear above incumbent Eleanor Holmes Norton. Incumbent shadow representative Mike Panetta had no better luck; he'll appear below energetic newcomer Nate Bennett-Fleming. Jeff Smith and Bryan Weaver will appear ahead of incumbent Jim Graham in Ward 1. In Ward 6, Kelvin Robinson and Randy Brown drew ahead of incumbent Tommy Wells. And in Ward 5, Kenyan McDuffie and Delano Hunter will be appear atop incumbent Harry Thomas Jr.
Thomas, in attendance at One Judiciary Square, was cool with that.
"I always batted in the three-spot in baseball," he said. "That's where you put your best hitter."
Hmm. In this reporter's Little League days, the best hitter batted fourth. In that case, Tracey D. Turner ought to be feeling good.
July 23, 2010; 1:34 PM ET
Categories: DCision 2010 , The District , Vincent Gray
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