Opinion: Poll Finds Candidates for D.C. Mayor Are Mundane

Earlier this week, D.C. mayoral candidate Tommy Wells released the first known poll results of the 2014 campaign season. The survey included incumbent mayor Vince Gray as well as challengers Muriel Bowser and Jack Evans.

Gray garnered 21 percent, Bowser 17, Wells 16 and Evans 13.

A City Paper analysis of the poll said Wells "looks pretty good."

Wells himself said the poll results were “very encouraging.”

I'm not sure what is "good" or "encouraging" about a candidate who is receiving 16 percent of the vote.

In fact, none of the candidates in the poll should feel good or be encouraged; at 31 percent, "undecided" leads Gray by 10 points and leaves Bowser, Wells and Evans in the dust.

The Democratic Primary for mayor (and some Council seats) is slated for April 1, 2014. That is less than 8 months away.


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So far, the field of mayoral wannabes has been underwhelming. No candidate has made news or distinguished his or herself from the others with policy points, plans for the future or targeted critiques.

The only outsider in the race, Reta Lewis, has been similarly lackluster. When she launched her candidacy, Lewis offered nothing of substance and did not have a reply when asked about scandals that have plagued the District.

Voters deserve better from the challengers and Gray, who has yet to announce whether or not he will seek reelection.

If none of these folks win they will have themselves to blame. Valuable days have already been squandered. Opportunities to test ideas and trade barbs have likewise been wasted.

Allow me to borrow a catchphrase from Michael Buffer, ring announcer extraordinaire: "Let's get ready to rumble!"

Those words are spoken BEFORE combatants clash. That is to say, do not get into the ring unless you are prepared to mix it up.

My message to the current crop of candidates: stop boring us; stop ignoring us; if you want to lead the District, do something.

My message to anyone who might be thinking about getting into the race: go for it.

Chuck Thies is a political, communications and advocacy consultant. From 1998 to 2010 his portfolio included District of Columbia politics. Chuck has worked on national projects and internationally in Europe, Africa, the Middle East , China and Mexico. If you are daring, follow him on twitter: @ChuckThies.

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