Does Muriel Bowser have a Sharon Pratt problem?

On the snow-delayed first day of early voting, it was Muriel Bowser who made the biggest splash, turning out campaign workers and volunteers early in the day. But the first day of voting was generally short on voters, with only 158 casting ballots after nine hours of voting. Meanwhile, Post columnist Petula Dvorak identifies a hole in support for Bowser, the leading black woman in the race: black women. Petula’s survey of voters reveals two problems: A well-established Adrian Fenty problem — as in, Bowser’s political patron who remains politico non grata in many circles — and, significantly, a Sharon Pratt problem — as in, the one-term former mayor who may have poisoned the well for a generation of female mayoral candidates. Bowser responds in part that “women expect a perfect candidate” for mayor. Notes Petula, “But they don’t have that perfect-candidate expectation of men. Lord knows we’ve had our share of imperfect men in office.” More on early voting from WJLA-TV and WTTG-TV.

In other news:

Police shoot man at Sursum Corda this morning; barricade situation may be underway (Post)

Lawyer Bob Bennett vows Vince Gray will fight the feds (WUSA-TVWRC-TV)

With handling of Gray audit, Office of Campaign Finance “increasingly has shown itself to be tangential to its core mission of policing local elections” (Post editorial)

Firefighters for Tommy Wells (DofD)

Teamsters for Vince Gray (WUSA-TV)

A rowdy Sunday night debate at Black Cat (Loose LipsWashingtonianDCist)

Jonetta Rose Barras defines the choice in the at-large council race: “stale status quo or slightly bruised new leadership?” (Post column)

Appeals court says Gray can proceed with firing of top administrative law judge (Post)

Criminal defense lawyers agree: Jeff Thompson got a really sweet deal (NLJ)

Jim Graham is upset about his photo on negative Brianne Nadeau mailer (Loose Lips)

Enter your address, get an interactive voter guide (WAMU-FM)

Racial critiques of Gray’s State of the District address are misplaced, says Robert Brannum (Post letter)

New Smithsonian chief says admission fees are on the table: “I’m not aware of any aspect of the nonprofit or for-profit world that doesn’t have to take another look at their business models” (Post)

Before Snow Patrick’s Day, D.C. was already $2.5 million over its snow budget (WaTimes)

As Busboys plots an entry into Anacostia, a moment to remember the sandwiches of Miles Long (GGW)

City lawyers oppose unconditional release of man  who has spent 43 years at St. Elizabeths (WaTimes)

Why law firms’ shrinking space needs are a challenge for the D.C. real estate market (Capital Business)

Claire McCaskill buys $2.7 million CityCenter condo (WBJ)

Canadian investors love D.C. real estate (Capital Business)

Whole Foods will not be left out of Walter Reed plans (WBJ)

Boom times for top D.C. tattoo parlor (WBJ)

Plans for Kingman Island nature center are resurrected (ElevationDC)

Federal judge says D.C. retailers can keep on asking for your zip code (Legal Times)

RIP Mixtec (PoPville)

Where is 83-year-old Jesse Jones, former D.C. corrections official now missing for a week? (WTOP)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · March 17