— bruce johnson (@brucejohnson9) March 16, 2014
In which I highlight local tweets and analyze why they’re important relevant.
Chuck Thies, Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s campaign manager, is back at it today, this time going after The Washington Post’s Paul Schwartzman, who tweeted out a report labeled “EMBARGOED” from the Gray camp. The release was previewing the announcement of Council member Marion Barry’s endorsement of Gray in the April 1 Democratic mayoral primary.
For one, it seems strange to embargo something previously reported by one of the most prominent journalists in town. But secondly, setting aside the fact that the mayor’s campaign manager is cursing at people in a professional context and then announcing it on social media, is the endorsement itself: Why is Barry doing this at all?
There are two options. First, he just really doesn’t want Ward 4 Muriel Bowser to win. At this point, it seems like it’s her race to lose among the challengers. And she did capture a Ward 8 straw poll (whatever that’s worth) back in January. Seeing that Ward 8 is Barry’s jurisdiction, this Gray endorsement could be his last stand in having a say in his backyard.
But another interesting development to note is how the council has aligned itself either with or against the mayor since the Jeffrey Thompson plea deal last week put everyone on alert. Let’s review: At the televised debate last week on NewsChannel 8, Ward 2 stalwart Council member Jack Evans shied away from any major criticism of the mayor, who was sitting directly to his left. And Sunday night at the Washington City Paper’s Loose Lips debate, when asked if they’d support Gray if he won the primary, he got support from Evans and Vincent Orange (D-At Large). They claimed party loyalty.
Meanwhile, two other Democrats, Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Muriel Bowswer (D-Ward 4) did not back Gray. And David Catania (I-At-Large) has long been on record as saying Gray should step down as a result of the investigation.
With Barry on Gray’s side, we’ve got a clear line drawn in the sand between the Democrats. Meaning, depending on what comes of the next few months, there are more people than just the mayor potentially putting their political reputations on the line by standing with their party.