Decision 2022

DC 2022 Primary Election: What to Know About the Mayoral Candidates

Mayor Muriel Bowser is running against three other Democratic candidates in the hopes of winning a third term

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Washington, D.C.'s primary election is coming up on June 21, and there are four Democratic candidates vying for the mayoral race.

The majority of D.C.'s voters are registered as Democrats, and it's likely that whoever wins the Democratic ticket will win the general election in November.

Here is a look at the candidates:

Muriel Bowser, Incumbent

Bowser is seeking a third term. She was elected mayor in 2015 and won re-election in 2018. Before becoming mayor, she was the Council member for Ward 4 from 2007 to 2015. She started her career in D.C. politics as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Riggs Park neighborhood, according to her website.

James Butler, Former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

Butler is a former attorney who ran against Bowser in the 2018 Democratic primary and lost. He was also an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and states on his website that he serves on the board for more than a dozen organizations.

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Robert White, At-Large Council Member

White was elected the at-large member for the D.C. Council in 2016 and still serves in that seat. He served on D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton's legislative counsel for five years and prior to that was a law clerk for the Maryland District Court for Montgomery County. White earned his law degree from American University.

Trayon White, Ward 8 Council Member

Since 2017, White — who has no relation to Robert White — has represented Ward 8 on the D.C. Council. Prior to serving on the Council, White won a special election in 2011 to represent Ward 9 on the city's school board.

What Political Analysts Say About DC's Mayoral Primary

"The people who will turn out will be the people who are most dissatisfied with the way things are going," Washington Post journalist Colby King told News4.

King recently wrote an op-ed about what he believes will motivate the voters who will decide who runs for mayor.

"The uneasiness people feel about the streets, the safety in the streets that affects a lot of people. When people are thinking at that level, thinking twice about where you're going to be pumping gas, you got a problem," King said.

King believes Robert White is the only candidate who has the ability to unseat Bowser.

"Robert White would probably fall in the progressive category. Bowser's in the traditional category," King said.

"[It's] a contest between people who want change, want a new face, who see the status quo as unacceptable," he said.

DC 2022 Primary Voting Information

While the primary election isn't until June 21, mail-in voting is underway.

D.C. elections officials said 391,000 mail-in ballots were delivered to the homes of every registered voter.

So far, 1,168 ballots have been collected via the city's drop-off boxes and another 5,742 were mailed.

Former News4 reporter and WAMU Political Analyst Tom Sherwood said it's unclear how mail-in ballots will impact the race.

"This is the first time in a mayor's race that every registered voter has gotten a ballot and we don’t know what they're going to do with them," he said. "The campaigns for mayor are now trying to contact people with phone calls and different things because they know all these voters who don't normally vote have this ballot either in their hand, or right there. Will they vote? It's just the biggest unknown in any D.C. election I've ever covered."

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21. Go here for more information and to find out where to vote.

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