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Vince Gray Still Not Endorsing Muriel Bowser for DC Mayor

More than two months after losing the Democratic nomination, Gray is still frosty about his party's choice.
Photograph of Gray by Flickr user chesbayprogram. Photograph of Bowser by Flickr user crystalndavis.

Since winning the Democratic mayoral nomination on April 1, Muriel Bowser has held many events featuring her fellow party members, including primary opponents like Jack Evans, Tommy Wells, and Vincent Orange. She’s even won the support of Marion Barry, who earlier this month pledged his support to help Bowser “kick David Catania’s ass,” as the mayor-for-life said at a fundraiser.

But there’s one prominent local Democrat Bowser still hasn’t convinced: current Mayor Vince Gray, who in an interview Thursday morning on NewsChannel 8 again declined to endorse her.

“I haven’t come out with any public statements as of yet,” Gray said when host Bruce DePuyt asked if the mayor is ready to line up behind Bowser.

Gray and Bowser shared an uncomfortable hug at a “unity breakfast” three days after the primary, and while Gray said he has met with Bowser several times since then, Gray’s statements today suggest she hasn’t made much of an impression since beating him on April 1 by 10 percentage points.

“I really want to hear what her vision is on the future of our city,” Gray said today. Apparently, 15 months of campaigning and debating by Bowser still leaves details to be desired.

Gray also called recent mayoral entrant Carol Schwartz a “credible candidate.” He didn’t endorse either Schwartz or Catania, both former Republicans, but fully embracing Bowser sounds a long way off, too.

“If I was Gray, I’d never endorse Bowser,” says Chuck Thies, a Democratic consultant who served as Gray’s motor-mouthed campaign manager. “How can any legitimate politician endorse an empty suit?”

Gray suggested in his TV segment that he might get off the fence eventually. “Ms. Bowser and I have met on more than one occasion,” he said. “There’s no doubt we’ll talk about this.”

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Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.