Former DC Mayor Vincent Gray Trying to Win Back Ward 7 Council Seat From Incumbent Yvette Alexander

What to Know

  • Polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. for D.C.'s Democratic primary.
  • Former Mayor Vincent Gray is trying to win back the Ward 7 council seat from incumbent Yvette Alexander.
  • Arlington Board Chair Libby Garvey is being challenged by Erik Gutshall. Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters will decide Tuesday whether former mayor Vincent Gray will return to the D.C. Council.

Polls in the District opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

Gray is trying to win back his Ward 7 council seat from incumbent Yvette Alexander.

Both candidates campaigned at the Denny’s restaurant on Benning Road NE Monday.

“Ward 7 seems very supportive,” Alexander said. “I’ve been here, and there’s still a lot of work to do, so I’m excited about tomorrow.”

After Alexander left, Gray arrived for his turn, but suddenly Alexander was back, circling near Gray outside, heckling inside.

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Gray -- seen leading the race by many -- focused on the families inside and ignored Alexander.

“We've worked very hard during this campaign in order to make sure voters know what we stand for, the issues important to the people here in the ward,” he said.

Some diners told News4 the Alexander was rude to follow Gray back in to the restaurant.

“Well, it’s a campaign,” Alexander said. “I think it's rude that he's running against me.”

Gray once had the Ward 7 seat before becoming council chair, then mayor. He endorsed Alexander when she first ran for the seat in 2007, then she backed him in his primary for mayor in 2013.

Gray has more endorsements, particularly organized labor, and more money. Mayor Muriel Bowser endorsed Alexander, a reliable vote on the council.

D.C. voters also will decide candidates in an at-large race and three other ward races. The seat of chair of the Arlington Board also is being challenged.

D.C. Council At Large
Incumbent Vincent Orange, who returned the council in 2011 after previously serving as the Ward 5 Council member from 1999-2007, faces two challengers. David Garber, 32, of Shaw calls himself a real estate project manager. Robert White, 34, of Brightwood Park, has been serving as director of community outreach for Attorney General Karl Racine. White is making his second try for an at-large seat. He ran the first time as an independent. Mayor Bowser endorsed Orange.

Ward 4
When Bowser became mayor, Brandon Todd won a special election for her seat on the council. She endorsed him then and has done so again. His main challenger is Leon Andrews, an urban planning specialist who came in third in that special election two years ago. Calvin Gurley and longtime ANC Commissioner Ronald Austin are also running. Gurley is a perennial candidate for several races. Austin is a newcomer.

Ward 8
In the election to replace former Mayor Marion Barry, LaRuby May beat Trayon White by less than 100 votes, and they’re facing off again. White is a former member of the State Board of Education and a staffer for Attorney General Karl Racine. May is strongly backed by Bowser.

Arlington Board
Arlington Board Chair Libby Garvey has been in public office there for almost 20 years. Her seat is being challenged by Erik Gutshall, a planning board member who received a number of endorsements from people wanting change. If Gutshall wins he will not take Garvey’s place as chair. The board would among the members for chairmanship. Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Many D.C. voters also will cast their ballots Tuesday in the final Democratic primary election in the nation. Bernie Sanders held a campaign rally in the District last week, the same day President Barack Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton after she clinched the nomination.

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