The comeback mayor?

January 15, 2014

Gray’s poll numbers aren’t great for an incumbent, but he remains ahead of his primary challengers in a split field. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

At his lowest point 18 months ago, as the “shadow campaign” scandal ripped open, more than half the city disapproved of the job Vincent C. Gray was doing as mayor and nearly as many thought he should resign. But today, a new Washington Post poll has found, the city has warmed to his leadership to the point that he occupies the catbird seat in the upcoming Democratic primary. The good news for Gray is that Gray has double the support of his nearest opponents — D.C. Council members Muriel Bowser (Ward 4), Jack Evans (Ward 2) and Tommy Wells (Ward 6). The bad news is that Gray still only has the backing of roughly one-fourth of voters, and only a third find him honest and trustworthy, indicating major opportunities for his challengers. Even more fascinating: A mock general election matchup between Gray and independent David A. Catania (At Large) is in a statistical dead heat. Read the poll, then see more reaction from WRC-TVLoose LipsDCistWBJWAMU-FMWashingtonianBladeCNN and National Journal.

In other news:

Marijuana decriminalization set for markup today; Tommy Wells says he will reduce fine from $100 to $25 (APWaTimesWAMU-FMWTOP)

Gray will sign minimum wage hike this morning (WaTimesWRC-TVAP)

City buildings with expensive LEED certifications aren’t necessarily more efficient (Examiner)

Federal spending deal extends city’s shutdown exemption (Post)

And cuts local court funding slightly (Legal Times)

But doesn’t do a whole lot for St. Elizabeths (WBJ)

“Gray has stiff-armed reporters better than an NFL running back anytime they want to talk about his first campaign” (WRC-TV)

Andy Shallal: a candidate with “a lot of nerve” (Post column)

Albrecht Muth trial Day 5: Prosecution rests, and defense calls sole witness; case is expected to go to jury today (PostHomicide WatchWJLA-TVAP)

Schaeffer brothers move to unload vast New York Avenue redevelopment site (Capital Business)

Now playing at the National Cathedral: Tai chi and weekend yoga (Post)

Police take aim at apartment meth labs (WRC-TV)

Emily Durso, former interim state education superintendent, moves to DCPS (Post)

Michelle Rhee gives the D.C. education system a C+ (Answer Sheet)

D.C. Water moves forward with green infrastructure trials (Current via Dish)

Gray gives no-brainer endorsement to Utah gay marriages (Blade)

It’s that time again: Campaign frenzy! Grandstanding and petty bickering! (Blade)

Gay activist Lane Hudson makes his case for Gray (Blade)

Payment processor’s suspension means some cabbies are out big bucks (WAMU-FM)

Humane Society pouts over Park Service decision to proceed with deer cull (WAMU-FM)

Three stabbed at Benning-Stoddert Recreation Center were in the course of robbing a jacket, police say (Post)

Three youths charged with burglarizing Davis ES (WRC-TV)

Why Anita Bonds senior tax bill is plain old “pandering” (DCision14)

Watch Calvin Gurley do his thing: “Our city council is in dire need of a new head coach” (NewsTalk)

Beware: Restaurant Week can be a ripoff (Young & Hungry)

Destination DC tries appealing to romantics (WNEW-FM)

DDOT, Downtown BID promise to install a lot more bike parking (DCist)

Movie theater executive is unconcerned about coming glut of movie theaters (Housing Complex)

High-dollar condos in former Hurt Home are snapped up (WBJ)

Watergate Hotel reno could finally begin soon (WBJ)

Building permit heat map! (GGW)

Farewell to @IMGoph and @bogrosemary (City Desk)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.
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Mike DeBonis · January 14, 2014