Six democratic candidates for D.C. mayor held their first debate Wednesday night, a year ahead of the election. News4's Mark Segraves has the report.
The six candidates for D.C. mayor -- all Democrats -- gathered Wednesday evening for the first debate, a year ahead of the election.
The Democratic primary is April 1, and last week, many of the candidates began submitting petitions.
Vincent Orange assured the crowd although his paperwork hasn't been turned in, he has full intentions to run.
“I’m in compliance and everything’s in order and I am a candidate for mayor,” Orange said.
Tommy Wells, Jack Evans, Muriel Bowser, Reta Jo Lewis, Andy Shallal and Orange agreed on most issues addressed, but clashed on the specifics of raising minimum wage.
“My number is $12.50 per hour, however during discussions with Montgomery County and Prince George’s County for a consensus, we’re looking at $11.50 per hour,” Orange said.
“$10.25 in two years, but don’t just look at that number, we gotta be smart about it,” Wells said.
"Phase it in at a dollar per year and then index it for the cost of living when it gets up to $12.50,” Shallal said.
“Phase it up to $10.25 an hour over three years,” Evans said.
While the candidates refrained from taking jabs at one another, Shallal had some choice words for the press.
"I would admonish the media to tone it down a little bit. Sensationalism sells newspapers. It isn't good for democracy," Shallal said.
Noticeably absent from the debate was current Mayor Vincent Gray, who has not yet announced whether he'll run for a second term.