If Ward 7 voters were dissatisfied, Ward 8 voters appeared to stage an outright rebellion.
Allen, a former Barry campaign manager who first won office in 1996, has also been accused of failing to respond to her constituents. Although she won endorsements from her council colleagues and many Democratic power brokers, the lack of popular support for her candidacy was clear yesterday.
A victorious Barry gets a show of supporters' hands at his campaign headquarters. Barry ousted D.C. Council member Sandy Allen in Ward 8.
(Marvin Joseph -- The Washington Post)
Barry's Back: Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, defeated the incumbent Ward 8 D.C. Council member on a primary election day that handed two other incumbents losses.
At many polling places, Allen supporters were outnumbered by workers for other candidates, including school board member William Lockridge, who had a luxury bus patrolling the streets for voters.
Barry, meanwhile, was the star of the day.
Although the former mayor reported paltry contributions to his campaign fund, he somehow managed to find a line of new minivans to take voters to the polls. There also were hundreds of Barry T-shirts, including one worn by his former wife Effie, who divorced him after his drug and perjury trial.
About 6 p.m., Barry arrived at Hendley Elementary School in the ward's biggest precinct. Over a loudspeaker, a campaign aide called out: "Help is on the way, brothers and sisters! He's back, folks. Marion Barry. He is back."
Supporters shouted and screamed their approval. Barry's campaign treasurer, Vanessa Robinson, could barely contain her joy.
"The Lord is going to allow us to win!" she screamed.
Barry looked frail but appeared to be enjoying himself immensely, a big smile across his thin face.
"This is the sweetest victory, because I came out of retirement and the forces against me were so great," he said. "People want a change, they want something new. We will be a force down there. We are going to tear it up."
Not far away, at Player's Lounge, Allen was greeted by hugs and applause from about 100 disappointed supporters. In an interview, she said Barry's famous name won the election. But she said she is already planning a political comeback.
"I still feel the people need a representative that cares about them," Allen said. "I will serve my community as long as I have breath."
Staff writers Hamil R. Harris, Spencer S. Hsu, Debbi Wilgoren and Clarence Williams contributed to this report.