The Ward 8 Democratic Committee voted overwhelmingly Saturday to endorse Vincent C. Gray over incumbent Adrian M. Fenty in the mayor's race.
To win an endorsement, a candidate needed 59 percent of the vote. When the ballots were counted, Gray received about 80 percent: 244 votes compared with 59 for Fenty.
Any registered Democrat living in Ward 8 was eligible to participate in the endorsement vote, held at Matthews Memorial Church in Anacostia.
Although both Gray and Fenty showed up and spoke to the crowd, the council chairman got a boost from Ward 8 council member Marion Barry (D), who personally greeted nearly every voter and urged support for Gray.
The committee also endorsed council member Kwame Brown (D-At large) over former council member Vincent Orange in the chairman's race. Brown received 227 votes compared with 53 for Orange.
In the at-large council race, no candidate reached the 59 percent threshold. Incumbent Phil Mendelson received 114 votes, but challenger Clark Ray was close behind with 95 votes. The other candidate, Michael Brown, received 68 votes.