News & Politics

Muriel Bowser Picks Up Crucial Pharrell Williams Endorsement

The noted fan of oversized hats tweets his support.

DC mayoral canididate Muriel Bowser has already been endorsed by most of her former Democratic primary rivals (though not Mayor Vince Gray), President Obama, and at least four Washington Post editorials, so perhaps she doesn’t need this latest accolade that badly. But just in case, the singer Pharrell Williams is throwing his support to the Democratic nominee.

Williams, best known for his taste in headwear and an annoying song that just won’t die, grew up in Virginia Beach, but the District is close to him, at least musically. He appears in the Washington episode of HBO’s Sonic Highways miniseries talking about go-go’s influence on his earliest productions. Williams’s Bowser endorsement isn’t the first time he’s been invoked in DC’s mayoral election, though it might be the only time he’s been a willing participant. Bowser’s primary opponent Vincent Orange tapped Williams’s song, “Happy,” as his campaign’s theme. (Bowser opted for Alicia Keys.)

But Ben Young, the campaign manager for David Catania’s independent bid, isn’t fazed by Williams and his 4.77 million Twitter followers. “Does he live in DC?” Young asks. “Does he send his kid to school in DC? Does he pay taxes here?”

Williams, who is not a DC resident, owns a high-rise condominium in Miami. He hasn’t made any donations to Bowser’s mayoral bid, according to records with the DC Office of Campaign Finance.

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.