The 1994 election for Washington, D.C. mayor featured the return of Marion Barry, who served as mayor from 1979 until 1991. It occurred on November 8, 1994.
Barry served six months in prison on a cocaine conviction. After his release from prison, Barry ran successfully for the Ward 8 city council seat in 1992, running under the slogan "He May Not Be Perfect, But He's Perfect for D.C." Upon this victory, Barry said he was "not interested in being mayor" again.
Sharon Pratt Kelly succeeded Barry as mayor. In the second year of her term, Barry loyalists mounted a recall campaign, which, although unsuccessful, weakened her administration.
CouncilmanJohn Ray received the endorsement of the Washington Post and was favored to win the primary. However, Barry ran a grassroots campaign, touting his record balancing the budget in 10 of his 12 years as mayor.
A major issue in the campaign was how to cut $140 million from the city budget, as mandated by Congress. Though Barry was seen by some as responsible for the bureaucracy and Schwartz criticized Barry's proposals as old and ineffective, Barry tied his personal redemption to the redemption of the city.