The D.C. Women's Political Caucus, dominated by supporters and employes of Mayor Marion Barry, voted overwhelmingly last night to endorse Barry for a second term.
The caucus also endorsed City Council member David Clarke (D-Ward 1) in his Democratic primary race for chairman of the council. Clarke received 75 votes, compared with 42 for incumbent chairman Arrington Dixon and 13 votes for former council chairman Sterling Tucker.
About 150 people attended the women's caucus' political forum at the District Building, which drew every major Democratic and Republican candidate for mayor.
Patricia Roberts Harris, Barry's chief Democratic rival, declined to address the forum and instead attended a citywide rally of her campaign field workers. However, Harris appeared near the end of the forum after the endorsement vote had been taken. She got no votes.
Harris noted that the chairman of the caucus, Anita Bonds, is Barry's deputy campaign manager, and that the group included many Barry supporters.
Barry took credit at the forum for increasing the number of women holding key city government posts. He ticked off a long list of D.C. departments and agencies headed by women, and said that eight of his nine special assistants are women.
Barry also noted that nearly 50 percent of his appointees on boards and commissions are women, and that 44 percent of all city employes earning more than $25,000 a year are women.
Barry received 103 votes compared with nine for council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) and one vote each for at-large council member John Ray and Republican candidate James Champagne.
The group endorsed Betty Ann Kane for an at-large council seat.