GW officials, professors give a combined $1,000 to D.C. mayoral candidates

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Desiree Halpern | Senior Staff Photographer

About 95 percent of donations from GW faculty and staff went to Democratic mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser.

Which GW professors and administrators are throwing their support behind D.C. mayoral candidates?

Democrat Muriel Bowser and Independent David Catania have received a combined $1,086 in donations from members of the GW community since last December, according to disclosures from the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance released last week.

The donations came from four professors, several staff members and Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell. University President Steven Knapp has not donated to any campaign.

About 59 percent of the total has gone to D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser, who won the Democratic nomination in April. Darnell donated $500 to Bowser’s campaign in June.

At least one other GW employee, Judaic studies professor Lauren Strauss, donated to the Bowser campaign. She gave $51 during the primary.

In April, Bowser defeated alumnus and incumbent mayor Vincent Gray with 44 percent of the vote.

Council member Jack Evans, who represents Foggy Bottom, also ran in the primary. Former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg donated $100 to Evans for that race.

Heather Harding, the executive director of GW’s Education Consortium on Research and Evaluation, said she donated $50 dollars to the Bowser campaign to attend a fundraiser so she could hear more about Bowser’s platform on education, the issue she thinks is most important in the race. Harding added that she’s still undecided, and is looking for more details from all the candidates about issues like affordable housing.

“I don’t think any of the candidates have offered enough detail to make me confident that we’re not pushing all the working class and poor people out of the city,” she said

At least seven GW faculty and staff have donated to At-Large Council member David Catania, who entered the race as an independent in March. Catania, who if elected would be the first openly gay D.C. mayor, is chairman of the Council’s education committee.

Carol Schwartz, a former Republican At-Large Council member, announced that she would run for mayor in June, and will appear on the ballot as an independent. She has not received any donations from GW faculty or staff.

Mary Findley, an adjunct music professor, donated $100 dollars to the Catania campaign on Sept. 30. She said she and her husband noticed Catania’s work in the areas of education and health care before he announced his run for mayor.

“He’s his own person and really cares about the people of D.C. rather than going out and making platitudes,” she said.

Patricia Griffith, an English professor, also donated $100 to the campaign in September, and said she supported Catania for more than his education reform efforts on the Council.

“I get the impression that [Bowser] hasn’t done much on the Council and I think that’s very worrisome, and so that’s one of the reasons that I have felt to support David Catania,” she said.

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