Gray coasts to victory in mayoral election

GW alumnus Vincent Gray celebrated an expected victory in the District’s mayoral race Tuesday night, facing virtually no viable opponents after he beat incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty in the September primary.

The Associated Press called the race in Gray’s favor at around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday night with just 37 percent of precincts reporting. The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics said Gray received almost 74 percent of the vote.

In September, Gray beat Fenty by nearly 10 percentage points, and became the presumptive mayor since no Republicans registered to run in the general election.

University President Steven Knapp congratulated Gray – who received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from GW – Tuesday night.

“We look forward to working with his administration to meet our shared goals, including improving public health and expanding educational opportunity in the District of Columbia,” Knapp said in a statement.

Gray graduated from GW in 1964 and was one of the first black men to be admitted into the University’s fraternity system as a member of Tau Epsilon Phi.

The mayor-elect emphasized to supporters at his official watch party at Love Nightclub in Northeast D.C. that he plans to build “one city” – a promise that has been the cornerstone of his campaign. He celebrated alongside D.C. shadow Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.

“Frankly, there is nothing we can’t accomplish by working together,” Gray said. “Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you voted for me or not. We’re all citizens of the District of Columbia.”

Michael Akin, assistant vice president of government, international and community relations at GW, attended Gray’s election night event and said the University is looking forward to partnering with the new mayor.

“GW puts a big focus on public service and the fact that we have a GW alumnus as mayor is a real-world example of someone who has translated public service into a real-world result,” Akin said.

Knapp also congratulated other alumni running for office across the nation, six of whom were successful in their bids for a Congressional seat.

“We are proud of our alumni who come to GW with a passion for changing the world and go on to serve their communities,” Knapp said.

On the other side of the country, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., a 1964 graduate of GW’s Law School, safeguarded his Senate seat as the majority leader against Republican and tea party-backed candidate Sharron Angle.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., defeated his Democratic opponent Rick Waugh, carrying 59 percent of the vote. Cantor studied political science at GW.

In Florida’s sixth district, Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns – who graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1963 – was re-elected.

Tennessee’s Jimmy Duncan also clinched another term in the House of Representatives, capturing about 82 percent of the vote in his district. Duncan graduated from the GW Law School in 1973.

Garnering 51 percent of the vote, Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Penn. earned another term representing Pennsylvania’s 4th district. Altmire received his master’s degree in health administration from GW in 1998.

Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., graduated from GW with a political science degree in 1983 and was first elected to the House in 2000. Israel emerged victorious Tuesday night against his Republican opponent, John Gomez.

Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway lost his bid for a Senate seat against Republican Rand Paul. Conway graduated from GW in 1995.

During his concession speech late Tuesday night, Conway wished Paul well.

“[Paul] is our senator and I think we all ought to wish him well. as he tries to do right by our state,” Conway said.

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