Bowser holds off challengers to win Democratic mayoral primary

Media Credit: Anthony Peltier | Staff Photographer

Mayor Muriel Bowser will likely be the first three-term D.C. mayor since Marion Berry, who won his third term in 1986.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser won the D.C. Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday night, setting her on the path to becoming the District’s first three-term mayor since 1986.

Progressive Councilmember Robert White challenged Bowser for the mayorship, but the Associated Press called the race in favor of the incumbent at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, with Bowser receiving 51.4 percent of the vote when the race was called. Bowser is likely to win the general election, which Democrats have never lost since the position’s creation in 1975, and said she plans to continue to help D.C. recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle wealth inequality in the District.

“We have to really know how we’re going to bring our downtown back, how we’re going to fill spaces, how we’re going to change spaces, how we’re going to bring more people toward downtown and get our business economy going again and working with our federal partners to do exactly that,” Bowser said in a forum at GW last month.

Progressive Councilmember Trayon White and former lawyer James Butler also challenged Bowser, but each received less than 10 percent of the vote as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

Bowser, who heavily leaned on her eight years of experience during her campaign, has seen strong approval ratings throughout her two terms, but has also received criticism for not properly responding to rising house prices and instances of gentrification in the District. Other key moments of Bowser’s second term include the pandemic, demonstrations against police brutality and racism after the murder of George Floyd and the Capitol insurrection.

Ward 2, which encompasses GW’s campus, voted for Bowser by 33 percent with approximately 62 percent of votes counted. In February, Bowser said she was looking forward to working with interim University President Mark Wrighton, who she met earlier that month, on GW’s relationship with the District.

“I had the opportunity to meet with him virtually and in person today for the first time in person,” Bowser said in February. “He clearly understands GW’s huge role in the District, and I look forward to getting to know him and his vision for the University a little bit more.”

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