Today marks the deadline for DC’s mayoral candidates (and people running for other positions) to turn in their petitions for ballot access. For the past seven weeks, the mayoral campaigns’ volunteers and paid canvassers have been chasing down voters all over town for their signatures in hopes of collecting the 2,000 names needed to qualify for the April 1 primary.
And according to figures released today, at least seven candidates say they turned in enough signatures to the DC Board of Elections. Council member Jack Evans led with over 10,000 signatures, his campaign said, while Council member Muriel Bowser’s campaign reported turning in about 8,500 names. Council member Tommy Wells said his campaign turned in 5,501 signatures, and Council member Vincent Orange said he collected about 6,300.
Mayor Vince Gray, who announced his candidacy almost a month after his opponents started collecting signatures, submitted more than 8,200, said his campaign manager, Chuck Thies.
The other candidates to report signature totals today were former State Department official Reta Jo Lewis, who collected about 6,000 signatures, and Busboys and Poets restaurateur Andy Shallal, who got 4,500.
But the figures the campaigns are boasting about today are only preliminary. The Board of Elections will begin a 10-day review, during which signatures can be challenged and tossed out. But at least the days of walking down the street and being bothered for your signature are over, at least until Council member David Catania decides to get in the general election.