Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser confronted a formidable combat for a 3rd time period, challenged in Tuesday’s Democratic major by two council members in a race dominated by crime and public questions of safety.
Throughout Bowser’s tumultuous second time period, she clashed with former President Donald Trump and walked a public tightrope between her personal police division and a vocal coalition of activists led by Black Lives Matter.
Her challengers embrace At-large Councilmember Robert White, who harshly criticized Bowser’s response to spiraling violent crime charges, and Councilmember Trayon White, who represents Ward 8, the poorest and most crime-ridden space within the district.
The winner of the Democratic major is the prohibitive favourite within the November basic election within the closely Democratic metropolis.
Crime and public security have dominated the mayoral marketing campaign. Homicides have risen for 4 years straight, and the 2021 homicide rely of 227 was the very best mark since 2003. In January, a candidate for the D.C. Council, Nate Fleming, was carjacked at gunpoint.
On Sunday night time, gunfire erupted at a avenue live performance 2 miles from the White Home, killing a 15-year-old boy and wounding three others, together with a police officer.
The Washington, D.C., marketing campaign broadly displays a wider dynamic taking part in out in longtime blue stronghold cities, with progressives going through off in opposition to Democratic traditionalists over crime.
Bowser, 49, campaigned on her expertise and management and her historical past as one of many faces of Washington’s ongoing quest for statehood. She additionally acquired good marks for her dealing with of the pandemic, usually working in coordination with the D.C. Council.
In the summertime of 2020, following mass protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Bowser publicly feuded with Trump after racial justice protesters have been forcibly cleared from an space close to the White Home. Bowser responded by renaming the protest epicenter Black Lives Matter Plaza and commissioning a mural with “Black Lives Matter” painted on a stretch of sixteenth Avenue, one block from the White Home, in big yellow letters.
Beneath strain from activists calling to defund the police, Bowser largely stood by her police division, preventing public battles with the D.C. Council over the police finances. She quietly changed an older white police chief with a youthful Black successor and has pushed for funding to construct Metropolitan Police Division staffing, at the moment at 3,500, as much as 4,000 officers over the following decade.
In April, the D.C. Council’s judiciary committee lower $6 million from Bowser’s $30 million finances proposal to rent extra officers, focusing on incentives Bowser claimed have been important to draw good candidates. The committee, on which neither of her challengers serves, did approve a $20,000 hiring bonus to assist recruit extra law enforcement officials, one thing Bowser introduced a number of days earlier than the first.
“I’ve by no means been to a group the place they mentioned they didn’t need the police. By no means,” Bowser mentioned in a radio debate final month. “We’d like the police that we’d like.”
Robert White, 40, has a historical past of profitable rebel campaigns, having unseated an entrenched incumbent for an at-large Council seat in 2016. He proposed tackling crime by means of a large private and non-private youth jobs program that Bowser derided as unsustainable.
Trayon White, 38, brazenly invokes the spirit of Marion Barry, the late mayor and council member who stays a controversial however beloved determine amongst many Washingtonians. A former grassroots group activist, White was a protégé of Barry’s. He has has opposed Bowser’s bids to rent extra law enforcement officials and favors group violence intervention applications, one thing he says Bowser was gradual to embrace.
In 2018, Trayon White was accused of antisemitism after saying a distinguished Jewish household was controlling the climate in Washington.