Muriel Bowser

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Muriel Bowser
Muriel Bowser AFGE 2015.jpg
8th Mayor of the District of Columbia
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 2, 2015
Preceded by Vincent Gray
Member of the Council of the District of Columbia
from Ward 4
In office
January 2, 2007 – January 2, 2015
Preceded by Adrian Fenty
Succeeded by Brandon Todd
Personal details
Born Muriel Elizabeth Bowser
(1972-08-02) August 2, 1972 (age 42)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Chatham University
American University

Muriel Elizabeth Bowser (born August 2, 1972) is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party currently serving as the eighth Mayor of the District of Columbia. Prior to her inauguration in January 2015, Bowser served as a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, representing Ward 4.

Elected to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in 2004, Bowser was elected to the Council in a special election in 2007, to succeed Adrian Fenty, who had been elected Mayor. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2012 and ran for Mayor in the 2014 election. She defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent C. Gray in the Democratic primary and won the general election against three Independent and two Minor Party candidates with 54.53% of the vote. She is the second woman to be elected Mayor, after Sharon Pratt Kelly.

Early life and education[edit]

The youngest of six children of Joe and Joan Bowser,[1] Muriel E. Bowser grew up in North Michigan Park in northeast DC.[2] In 1990, Bowser graduated from Elizabeth Seton High School, a private all-girls Catholic high school located in Bladensburg, Maryland.[3][4] She received a college scholarship due to her excellent grades.[5] Bowser graduated from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a bachelor's degree in history, and she graduated from American University with a Masters in Public Policy.[6] She moved to Riggs Park[7] in Ward 4 in 2000.[8]

Career[edit]

Advisory Neighborhood Commission[edit]

Bowser began her political career in 2004, running unopposed for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC). She represented Single Member District 4B09, which includes the neighborhood of Riggs Park.[9][10][11] She was unopposed again in 2006 when she ran for re-election for the position.[12]

Council of the District of Columbia[edit]

2007 election[edit]

Adrian Fenty, member of the Council of the District of Columbia representing Ward 4, ran for mayor of the District. Bowser was his campaign coordinator for Ward 4.[13] When Fenty was elected mayor in 2006, a special election was called to fill his council seat. Bowser, among many others, announced her candidacy for it.[13]

During a political forum with 17 of the 19 council candidates in attendance, Bowser was the only candidate present who supported Fenty's proposed takeover of the District public school system, saying that the school system needed to change.[14]

When Fenty announced his support of Bowser,[15] some critics claimed that, if elected, she would always vote as Fenty wished, ignoring the needs of her constituents.[10][16]

Other critics took note of developers who had contributed to Bowser's campaign, claiming she would favor developers over her constituents.[17] While an ANC commissioner, Bowser had voted in favor of a zoning variance for a condominium development to be built by a developer who had contributed several hundred dollars to her campaign, which some critics derided as a conflict of interest.[18] Bowser maintained that she had supported the development project before running for Council.[17]

The editorial page of The Washington Post favored Bowser in the election.[19] The local councils of the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, and the Fraternal Order of Police also endorsed Bowser in the election, but the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees endorsed her opponent, Michael A. Brown.[20][21][22]

Bowser won the special election with 40% of the vote.[23]

2008 election[edit]

In 2008, Bowser announced her reelection campaign for the Council. Three individuals ran against her in the Democratic primary,[24] namely: Baruti Akil Jahi, former president of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association;[25] Malik Mendenhall-Johnson, then serving as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of 4B04;[26] and Paul E. Montague, who had been Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of 4B07 before being recalled in 2004.[27] Both Jahi and Mendenhall-Johnson criticized Bowser, saying she was a rubber stamp for Mayor Fenty and that she was unconcerned with her constituents' needs.[28]

No candidates' names were on the ballot for the Republican or D.C. Statehood Green primaries.[24]

The Washington Post's editorial department endorsed Bowser's candidacy.[29] The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club also voted to endorse Bowser's reelection.[30]

Bowser won the Democratic Party primary election, receiving 75 percent of votes.[31] Jahi received 19%, Montague received 3%, and Mendenhall-Johnson received 2%.[31] With no one else appearing on the subsequent general election ballot,[32] Bowser won the general election with 97 percent of the vote.[33]

2012 election[edit]

Bowser ran for reelection in 2012.[34] Bowser said she would not turn down donations from corporations.[34] Candidate Max Skolnik criticized Bowser for receiving campaign contributions from developers, corporate bundlers, and lobbyists, saying that Bowser would favor the interests of these corporate donors.[34] Bowser said she was not in favor of banning corporations from making political donations altogether, saying that doing so would make it more difficult to track where campaign donations come from.[34] She also said that corporations are banned from donating to federal elections, but that corporations still find ways to give to campaigns.[35]

Bowser's candidacy was endorsed by the editorial boards of the Washington Post[36] and the Washington City Paper.[37]

Bowser won the Democratic primary with 66% of the vote, to Renee L. Bowser's (no relation) 13%, Max Skolnik's 9%, Baruti Jahi's 5%, Judi Jones' 3%, and Calvin Gurley's 2%.[38] Unopposed in the general election,[39] she was elected with 97% of the vote.[40]

Mayor of the District of Columbia[edit]

2014 election[edit]

On March 23, 2013, Bowser announced that she would run for Mayor of the District of Columbia in the 2014 election.[41] Her campaign's chair is former council member William Lightfoot.[42]

Bowser emphasized that she can connect with longtime residents concerned about the rapid changes occurring in the District, while still celebrating the changes that had occurred.[43] Bowser disdained business as usual and corruption in the District's government.[43] She favored free Metro fares for students.[44] She was against increasing for the minimum wage only for employees of large retailers.[45] Bowser was criticized for being too inexperienced for the position,[43] with too few legislative accomplishments while on the Council,[46] and for having a platform that was short on details.[47]

Bowser was endorsed by EMILY's List[48] and the editorial board of The Washington Post.[49] She won the Democratic mayoral primary election with 43 percent of the vote.[50]

In the general election, Bowser was on the ballot with Independents David Catania, Nestor Djonkam and Carol Schwartz, D.C. Statehood Green Faith Dane and Libertarian Bruce Majors. No Republican filed.[51] Bowser won the election with 80,824 votes (54.53%) and took office on January 2, 2015.[52]

Positions[edit]

Although Bowser supports the outfitting of Metropolitan Police Department with body cameras and has requested $6 million in her 2016 budget proposal to complete the task, she also included a provision that would make all footage from the cameras exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests with the goal "to respect privacy."[53][54][55]

Electoral history[edit]

2004[edit]

2004 Advisory Neighborhood Commission, 4B09, general election[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel E. Bowser 966 98
  write-in 22 2

2006[edit]

2006 Advisory Neighborhood Commission, 4B09, general election[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel E. Bowser 601 90
  write-in 70 10

2007[edit]

2007 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, special election[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel Bowser 5,064 40
Democratic Michael A. Brown 3,433 27
Democratic Charles Gaither 683 5
Democratic Dwight E. Singleton 602 5
D.C. Statehood Green Renee Bowser 583 5
Democratic Graylan Scott Hagler 468 4
Democratic Tony Towns 390 3
Democratic Robert G. Childs 339 3
Democratic Artee Milligan 170 1
Independent Judi Jones 154 1
Democratic Carroll Green 117 1
Democratic Lisa P. Bass 110 1
Democratic Douglas Ned Sloan 98 1
Democratic Marlena D. Edwards 97 1
Democratic T. A. Uqdah 82 1
Democratic Lisa Comfort Bradford 72 1
Democratic Michael T. Green 49 0
Democratic James Clark 17 0
Democratic Roy Howell 10 0
  write-in 29 0

2008[edit]

2008 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Democratic Party primary election[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel Bowser 7,132 75
Democratic Baruti Jahi 1,800 19
Democratic Paul E. Montague 302 3
Democratic Malik F. Mendenhall-Johnson 236 2
  write-in 58 1
2008 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, general election[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel Bowser 30,888 97
  write-in 936 3

2012[edit]

2012 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Democratic Party primary election[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel Bowser 7,541 66
Democratic Renee L. Bowser 1,523 13
Democratic Max Skolnik 1,042 9
Democratic Baruti Jahi 619 5
Democratic Judi Jones 371 3
Democratic Calvin Gurley 268 2
  write-in 32 0
2012 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, general election[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel Bowser 33,045 97
  write-in 933 3

2014[edit]

2014 Mayor of the District of Columbia, Democratic Party primary election[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel E. Bowser 42,045 43
Democratic Vincent C. Gray 31,613 33
Democratic Tommy Wells 12,393 13
Democratic Jack Evans 4,877 5
Democratic Andy Shallal 3,196 3
Democratic Vincent Orange 1,946 2
Democratic Reta Lewis 490 1
Democratic Carlos Allen 120 0
  write-in 235 0
2014 Mayor of the District of Columbia, general election[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Muriel E. Bowser 88,439 54
Independent David A. Catania 57,375 35
Independent Carol Schwartz 11,625 7
D.C. Statehood Green Faith Dane 1,348 1
Libertarian Bruce Majors 1,164 1
Independent Nestor Djonkam 421 0
  write-in 1,493 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ DeBonis, Mike (March 4, 2014). "Five things you don't know about Muriel Bowser, promising 'fresh start' as D.C. mayor". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ Stewart, Nikita. In Primary, Bowser Asserts Independence. The Washington Post. August 20, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  3. ^ "Annual Report, 2006-2007" (PDF). Elizabeth Seton High School. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Seton: Class of 1990". The Washington Post. June 14, 1990. p. MD11A. 
  5. ^ Harriston, Keith (May 19, 1990). "Academics Pay Off for Teen Individualists". The Washington Post. p. B1. 
  6. ^ Local elections 2008: Muriel Bowser. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  7. ^ Suderman, Alan (April 26, 2013). "Muriel's Vetting". Washington City Paper. 
  8. ^ Drake, Ingrid. Possible Contenders in the Ward 4 Race (pdf). DC North. January 2007.
  9. ^ a b Certified Summary Results (pdf). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. November 18, 2004.
  10. ^ a b Woodlee, Yolanda; Silverman, Elissa. "Hopefuls Begin Staking Out Fenty's and Gray's Seats", The Washington Post. 2006-09-20.
  11. ^ Ward 4 with ANC & SMD Boundary. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  12. ^ a b "Certified Official Results Report" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. November 21, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 30, 2006. 
  13. ^ a b Silverman, Elissa. Fenty a Strong Presence in Crowded Ward 4 Race to Replace Him. The Washington Post. 2007-01-23.
  14. ^ Silverman, Elissa; Woodlee, Yolanda. Fenty's School Takeover Plan Gets Rough Reception. The Washington Post. 2007-03-02.
  15. ^ Chen, Eve. Fenty Supports ANC Commissioner as Successor. WTOP. January 21, 2007.
  16. ^ Woodlee, Yolanda. Candidates Focus On Fundraising In Wards 4, 7, The Washington Post. 2007-03-06.
  17. ^ a b Woodlee, Yolanda. Top Fundraisers Feel The Heat in Ward 4. The Washington Post. 2007-04-27.
  18. ^ Woodlee, Yolanda; Silverman, Elissa. Who Will Fenty Support in Ward 7?, The Washington Post. March 8, 2007.
  19. ^ The D.C. Special Election: Muriel Bowser in Ward 4 and Victor Vandell in Ward 7 are the best bets for council. The Washington Post. 2007-04-15.
  20. ^ Muriel Bowser Receives the Metropolitan Council, AFL-CIO Endorsement (pdf). Muriel Bowser for Ward 4 2008. Press release. 2007-04-10.
  21. ^ Silverman, Elissa; Labb, Theola. Dueling Endorsements for Vacant Seats. The Washington Post. 2007-03-22.
  22. ^ Muriel Bowser Endorsed By The Fraternal Order of Police, Metropolitan Police Department Labor Committee (pdf). Fraternal Order of Police, Metropolitan Police Department Labor Committee. Press release. 2007-03-15.
  23. ^ a b Certified Official Results Report (pdf). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. May 11, 2007.
  24. ^ a b List of Candidates for the September 9, 2008 Congressional and Council Primary Election (pdf). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. 2008-07-03.
  25. ^ Stewart, Nikita. Local Election Season Quietly Kicks Off. The Washington Post. 2008-05-11.
  26. ^ Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B. Government of the District of Columbia. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  27. ^ Stewart, Nikita R. And They're Off! The Washington Post. 2008-05-11.
  28. ^ Stewart, Nikita. "In Primary, Bowser Asserts Independence". The Washington Post. August 20, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  29. ^ "The D.C. Council Primary: Our choices in next Tuesday's election". The Washington Post. September 3, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  30. ^ DeBonis, Mike. Incumbents Rake In Stein Club Endorsements. Washington City Paper. 2008-06-19.
  31. ^ a b c Certified Results. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. September 26, 2008.
  32. ^ "List of Candidates in Ballot Order for the November 4, 2008 General Election" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Board of Elections and Ethics. 
  33. ^ a b Certified Results. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. November 24, 2008.
  34. ^ a b c d Suderman, Alan (January 20, 2012). "Bowser Defends Corporate Giving, And Lots of It". Washington City Paper. 
  35. ^ Stewart, Nikita (March 8, 2012). "Bowser looks to be bouncing back". The Washington Post. p. B1. 
  36. ^ "Our choices for D.C. Council" (EDITORIAL). The Washington Post. March 18, 2012. p. A20. 
  37. ^ Schaffer, Michael (March 21, 2012). "Vote This Way on April 3!". Washington City Paper. 
  38. ^ a b "Council Primary Official Results" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. April 19, 2012. 
  39. ^ Suderman, Alan (July 30, 2012). "How Many People Does It Take to Host a Party?". Washington City Paper. 
  40. ^ a b Certified Results. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. November 6, 2012.
  41. ^ DeBonis, Mike; Stewart, Nikita (March 23, 2013). "Muriel Bowser launches bid for D.C. mayor". The Washington Post. 
  42. ^ Noble, Andrea (April 16, 2014). "Minority parties see power grab for D.C. vote". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. 
  43. ^ a b c DeBonis, Mike (March 4, 2014). "Muriel Bowser tries to escape Fenty's shadow, other Gray challengers in D.C. mayor race". The Washington Post. 
  44. ^ DeBonis, Mike (June 26, 2013). "Sales tax cut likely to get D.C. Council's okay". The Washington Post. 
  45. ^ DeBonis, Mike (June 27, 2013). "Higher minimum pay nearer in District". The Washington Post. p. B1. 
  46. ^ McCartney, Robert (February 10, 2014). "Muriel Bowser seems to be the candidate to beat among rivals to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray". The Washington Post. 
  47. ^ Barras, Jonetta Rose (September 10, 2014). "Muriel Bowser runs for mayor, ready or not" (EDITORIAL). The Washington Post. 
  48. ^ Freed, Benjamin (February 25, 2013). "Political Groups Line Up to Endorse DC’s Mayoral Candidates, Real and Hypothetical". Washingtonian Magazine. 
  49. ^ "Muriel Bowser for District Mayor" (EDITORIAL). The Washington Post. February 20, 2014. 
  50. ^ DeBonis, Mike (April 2, 2014). "Muriel Bowser wins". The Washington Post. 
  51. ^ "Sample Ballot, General Election, November 4, 2014" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections. 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  52. ^ DeBonis, Mikie; Davis, Aaron C. (November 5, 2014). "Bowser is elected D.C. mayor, defeating independents Catania and Schwartz". The Washington Post. 
  53. ^ Washington City Paper: "Bowser Wants Body Cam Footage Exempt from Open Records Law" by Will Sommer April 13, 2015
  54. ^ Huffington Post: "D.C. Mayor Doesn't Want You To See Police Body Camera Footage" by Jason Cherkis April 14, 2015
  55. ^ Washington Post: "D.C. Council raises alarms over Mayor Bowser’s budget" By Aaron C. Davis April 13, 2015
  56. ^ "Mayoral Primary Official Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections. April 1, 2014. 
  57. ^ "General Election Official Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections. November 4, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Council of the District of Columbia
Preceded by
Adrian Fenty
Ward 4 Member, Council of the District of Columbia
2007–2015
Succeeded by
Brandon Todd
Party political offices
Preceded by
Vincent Gray
Democratic nominee for Mayor of the District of Columbia
2014
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Vincent Gray
Mayor of the District of Columbia
2015–present
Incumbent