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DC Mayor Vincent Gray, who has spent almost his entire term as mayor dogged by federal investigations into his 2010 campaign, lost his bid for re-nomination to councilwoman Muriel Bowser. Gray initially won office by unseating an incumbent in the Democratic Primary. Early into Gray’s term, the reports that an illegal, shadow campaign was established to prop up Grey’s candidacy came to light. Federal investigators continue to examine what laws were broken and how much Grey knew. Polling routinely showed Gray being viewed as dishonest by DC residents. Polling showed him weak in the primary, with his only hope for re-election coming from multiple candidates splitting the vote. However, Gray lost by 12% to his strongest challenger, Councilwoman Muriel Bowser.
The precinct results shows a deeply divided city. Gray won the south and east ends of the district, overwhelmingly African-American, while he badly lost the white neighborhoods to the north and west. There is a clear racial divide with candidate support. However, both Bowser and Gray are African-American. Gray won in 2010 by dominating in the African-American precincts while losing heavily in white areas. This time, Gray’s margins in the African-American precincts were weaker than four years ago; while he did even worse in the white precincts. In addition, Bowser won much of the African-American neighborhoods in the north end of the district, aided by the fact these neighborhoods are in her council district.
Gray’s loss is best for the city. The cloud around his 2010 campaign tainted his mayor-ship. However, the results show a city with a deep political, geographic, and racial divide.