Fenty Prevails in Mayor's Race

(Nikki Kahn - The Washington Post)
By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Adrian M. Fenty won the Democratic nomination for D.C. mayor last night, trouncing Linda W. Cropp in the primary for the city's highest elected post after promising voters he would bring new energy and ideas to tackle long-standing problems.

Fenty, the Ward 4 D.C. Council member, defeated Cropp, the longtime council chairman, by about 57 percent to 31 percent, with almost all precincts counted.

The winners in the primary are virtually guaranteed to sweep the general election in November in the majority-Democrat city.

In the race to replace Cropp as chairman, Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7) defeated colleague Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3). Gray led Patterson by a ratio of about 3 to 2, based on the incomplete returns. Phil Mendelson won the nomination for a third term as an at-large council member, handily beating lawyer A. Scott Bolden.

Cropp conceded about 10:20 p.m. at a gathering of a few hundred supporters at the Capital Hilton at 16th and K streets NW. "I want to congratulate Adrian Fenty," she said, flanked by Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and her family. "He ran a very good campaign, and I will support the Democratic candidate in November."

After accepting a concession call from Cropp, Fenty addressed supporters at a party in a tent outside his campaign headquarters. "You did it!" he told the crowd, which cheered. "The next four years, the mayor of the District of Columbia is going to be everybody's mayor, no matter where you live." Of the government, he added: "We're going to run it like a business so that everyone knows if you work for the residents . . . you're going to be held accountable."

Fenty arrived at the party even as the results were coming in. Hundreds of supporters, most wearing green and white campaign T-shirts and hats, were screaming: "We finally got it! . . . Fenty! Fenty! Fenty!"

Fenty milled with the crowd, shaking hands, hugging and embracing friends and family, including his father, Phil. Some called him "Mayor Fenty."

Fenty plans to wave a "Thank You" sign to motorists at North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue at 7:15 this morning and to go door-to-door this afternoon to thank residents, his spokesman said.

In his speech, Fenty talked about fixing schools and having the government be more responsive to residents.

"We're going to keep going forward, but we're going to go forward even faster," he vowed.

Kirk Callan Smith, a lawyer from Capitol Hill, attended Fenty's victory party and said he was excited.

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