Washington, D.C. Mayoral Election, 2010
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Washington, D.C. Mayoral Election, 2010
2010 Washington, D.C. mayoral election

← 2006 November 2, 2010 2014 →
  Vincentgray (1).jpg
Candidate Vincent C. Gray
Party Democratic
Popular vote 97,978
Percentage 74.2%

District of Columbia mayoral election results by ward, 2010.svg
Results by ward:

Mayor before election

Adrian Fenty

Elected Mayor

Vincent C. Gray

The Washington, D.C. mayoral election of 2010 took place on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.[1] The primary elections occurred on September 14, 2010.[2]Vincent Gray won the general election by a wide margin, although many voters wrote in incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty, whom Gray defeated in the primary.[3]

Democratic primary

Early polls showed incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty was not widely supported. On January 31, 2010, The Washington Post reported the results of a voter survey which showed that Fenty's job approval rating was at an all-time low of 42 percent. His support among African-American voters dropped to 29 percent from 68 percent, while his support among whites dropped to 57 percent from 78 percent.[4] More than four in 10 voters doubted his honesty, empathy, and openness.[4]

Despite this lack of support Adrian Fenty's 2010 mayoral campaign was able to raise a record amount of money. On July 31, 2009, prior to Vincent Gray entering the race, Fenty's campaign had already exceeded its 2006 primary fundraising total of $2.4 million.[5] By August 2010, Fenty had raised $4.7 million and Gray had raised only $1.3 million, though later it would be revealed that the Gray campaign was also running a $668,800 shadow campaign financed by Jeffery Thompson.[6][7]

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray officially entered the mayoral race on March 30, 2010, after long anticipation and speculation about his entrance. Running on the slogan "One City. Leadership We Need", Gray proclaimed that "DC can do better" to a crowd gathered at the Reeves Center the day of his announcement.[8] Some voters complimented Fenty for improvements in the District since he took office, while other voters criticized him for his aloof style.[9] Some voters believed that as mayor, Gray would bring fiscal mismanagement and poor city services that existed in the early 1990s while he worked for the District government.[9]

In his State of the District speech, Fenty noted improvements in students' test scores and a record-low homicide rate.[10] Fenty also discussed the new psychiatric hospital at St. Elizabeths, new housing for homeless people, and a new recreation center in Deanwood.[10] Fenty contrasted the improvements in the District under his administration with the high crime rate and low school test scores in the 1990s.[11] Fenty also highlighted nearly a dozen new housing projects he facilitated that brought about 11,000 affordable apartments to the District.[12] Finally, Fenty pointed to the new supermarkets and restaurants that have opened in Wards 7 and 8 during his administration.[12]

During an interview, Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools system Michelle Rhee said that she "could not imagine doing this job without the kind of unequivocal support" from Mayor Fenty.[13] During another interview, Rhee said that Fenty "has not disappointed me one time in the last three years. I would not work under a mayor who was not focused on education in the same way, as dedicated to making some of the really difficult decisions. I think the chairman is certainly interested in education reform. I think that he...is committed to this city and its progress, certainly. But in terms of what I'm talking about with Mayor Fenty and his willingness to make some very difficult decisions, that though may have been unpopular with the adults, they are absolutely the right thing to do for the kids and for the system, no, I haven't seen the same thing with the chairman."[14] Nonetheless, Rhee and Fenty were unpopular with teachers and so Gray benefited greatly from the support of the teachers unions.[15]

Gray's campaign released an education plan, which included holding teachers accountable for student performance and paying them accordingly, strengthening the office of the deputy mayor for education, increasing infant and toddler care, and giving a tax credit for child and dependent care.[16] Gray said he would keep Rhee's reforms in place as mayor, but Gray did not said whether he would retain Rhee as chancellor.[11][17][18]

Fenty criticized Gray for his record as director of the Department of Human Services during former mayor Sharon Pratt's administration.[11] During a local radio show in July 2010, Fenty criticized Gray for mismanaging the Department of Human Services .[19][19] Gray responded to the criticism, saying that he enacted several improvements as director, including in the area of homelessness.[19]

Leo Alexander, meanwhile, criticized Fenty for allowing teachers to be fired, and he criticized Gray for doing nothing to stop the firings as Council Chair.[20] Alexander said that both Gray and Fenty both want to keep the District generally the same as it is now.[21] Gray responded that the Council had no authority to stop the firings, but Alexander recalled that former Council Chair John Ray had successfully done so during former mayor Marion Barry's administration.[20] Alexander also blamed businesses who hire illegal immigrants for the District's unemployment rate.[12]

On September 15, 2010, voters went to the polls and the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics reported unofficial results, with Gray receiving 53 percent of the vote compared to Fenty's 46 percent.[22] Gray won as much as 80% of the vote in predominantly black areas east of the Anacostia River, but did poorly in the city's wealthier northwest, winning just 13% in one Georgetown precinct.[23]



Poll source Dates administered Vincent Gray Adrian Fenty Other Wouldn't vote No opinion
Clarus Research Group August 15-16, 2010 44% 38% 18%
The Washington Post January 24-28, 2010 35% 31% 11% 4% 20%

In a straw poll held by Ward 8 Democrats in May 2010, Fenty received the most votes.[32] Fenty received 69 votes, Gray received 61 votes, and Alexander received 10 votes.[32]

In a straw poll held by the District of Columbia Democratic State Convention in June 2010, Gray received the most votes.[33] Gray received 703 votes, Fenty received 190, Alexander received 75, and other candidates received fewer than 10 votes each.[33]

In a straw poll held in June 2010 that was open to Democrats in Ward 3, Gray received the most votes.[34] Gray received 174 votes, Fenty received 168 votes, and Leo Alexander received 4 votes.[34]

A straw poll held in Ward 2 in July 2010 resulted in 97 votes for Fenty, 63 votes for Gray, 1 vote for Alexander, 1 vote for Michael T. Green, and 1 undecided vote.[35]

Ward 4 Democrats held a straw poll in Ward 4 in August 2010.[36] Gray received 581 votes, Fenty received 401 votes, and Alexander received 12 votes.[36]

The Washington Post questioned the reliability of straw polls to predict the winner of mayoral elections.[33] Prior to the 2006 mayoral election, candidates Linda W. Cropp and Michael A. Brown won straw polls, but Fenty won every precinct in the actual Democratic primary election.[33]

Other primaries and candidates


No Republican filed to run for the office,[26] but Mayor Fenty received 822 write-in votes.[37] Because Fenty was not a registered Republican on primary day, he was ineligible for the Republican nomination.[38]

Statehood Green

The Statehood Green Party candidate was Faith Dane, activist and former Broadway performer.[39][40]

Socialist Workers Party

The Socialist Workers Party candidate was Omari Musa.[39][41][42]


Carlos Allen, former CEO of Hush Society Magazine, a philanthropic online magazine,[42][43] ran for mayor as an independent.[39][41]

Also running as an independent was former NBC 4 reporter Leo Alexander.[44]

General election

Fenty endorsed Gray and said he has no interest in running as a Republican or independent.[37][45] Because he was not registered as a Republican on primary day, he was ineligible to be the Republican candidate.[38] A "Write In Fenty" website was started in October 2010 calling on voters to write in Fenty's name on the November ballot.[46]

Vincent Gray won the general election with over 70%, with write-in votes (mostly for Fenty) at over 20%. The three other candidates on the ballot (Carlos Allen, Faith, and Omari Musa) each won less than 2%.[2]


District of Columbia Mayoral election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Vincent C. Gray 97,978 74.20
Write-ins 29,599 22.42
Independent Carlos Allen 2,279 1.73
Faith Dane 1,476 1.12
Socialist Workers Omari Musa 717 0.54
Total votes 132,049 100.00
Democratic hold


Leo Alexander

Adrian Fenty



  • Laborers Local 657, construction union[53]
  • Greater Washington Board of Trade[54]


Vincent Gray


  • The Current, publisher of newspapers in Northwest D.C., editorial board[60]
  • InTowner, D.C. newspaper, editorial board[61]
  • The Afro, D.C.-area newspaper, editorial board[61]


  • Fraternal Order of Police, local chapter[62]
  • D.C. Lodge of the Fraternal of the Police, local and federal chapter[63]
  • D.C. Firefighters Association, Local 36[62]
  • American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations[62]
  • American Federation of Government Employees[64]
  • Gertrude Stein Democratic Club[53]
  • D.C. Chamber of Commerce[54]
  • D.C. Tenants Advocacy Coalition[65]
  • District of Columbia Nurses Association[66]
  • D.C. Latino Caucus[50]



  1. ^ "November 2, 2010 General Election Draft Election Calendar" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ "September 14, 2010 Primary Election Draft Election Calendar" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  3. ^ Nikita Stewart (2010-11-02). "For Gray, a methodical path to the mayor's office". Washington Post.
  4. ^ a b Stewart, Nikita; Cohen, Jon (January 31, 2010). "D.C. Mayor Fenty's Approval Ratings Plummet, Poll Finds". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ Abruzzese, Sarah (August 4, 2009). "Fenty campaign collections beat '06's take". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2009.
  6. ^ Cella, Matthew (18 August 2010). "Poll finds Gray has slim lead over Fenty". Washington Times. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Freed, Benjamin (9 December 2015). "Feds Drop Investigation of Former DC Mayor Vince Gray's 2010 Campaign". Washingtonian. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ Craig, Tim (March 30, 2010). "Updated: Vincent Gray joins D.C. mayor's race". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ a b McCartney, Robert (July 8, 2010). "Contradictions in style helping to shape D.C. mayor race". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ a b Stewart, Nikita (April 10, 2010). "Fenty sets up reelection bid with State of the District speech". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ a b c Craig, Tim (June 4, 2010). "Fenty assails Gray; warns future of city at risk". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ a b c Craig, Tim (June 3, 2010). "Fenty, Gray spar at forum". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ Turque, Bill; Stewart, Nikita (July 1, 2010). "Rhee hints that her job as D.C. schools chief hinges on Fenty's reelection". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ Stewart, Nikita (June 30, 2010). "Rhee praises mayor, says she doesn't see the same dedication from Gray". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Smith, Ben. "Teachers union helped unseat Fenty". Politico. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ Turque, Bill; Stewart, Nikita (July 2, 2010). "Gray outlines his agenda for education in District". The Washington Post.
  17. ^ Turque, Bill; Stewart, Nikita (July 2, 2010). "Gray outlines his agenda for education in District". The Washington Post.
  18. ^ Wingert, Pat (July 2, 2010). "How School Reformer Michelle Rhee May Be a Factor in the D.C. Mayoral Race". Newsweek.
  19. ^ a b c Stewart, Nikita (July 15, 2010). "Fenty, Gray duke it out on air". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ a b Craig, Tim (June 24, 2010). "Lesser-known mayoral candidates bait Gray at forum". The Washington Post.
  21. ^ Simmons, Deborah (July 8, 2010). "D.C. mayor hopeful touts different goal". The Washington Times.
  22. ^ "Mayoral Primary Election Unofficial Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. September 15, 2010. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  23. ^ Tim Craig Gray: 'Onus is on me' to assure D.C.'s wary voters The Washington Post October 5, 2010
  24. ^ DeBonis, Mike (September 19, 2009). "Leo Alexander Explains His D.C. Mayor Run". Washington City Paper.
  25. ^ Craig, Tim (January 12, 2010). "Chamber leader wants vigorous mayoral race". The Washington Post.
  26. ^ a b c d e f http://www.dcboee.org/popup.asp?url=/pdf_files/nr_497.pdf
  27. ^ DeBonis, Mike (June 18, 2009). "DCision 2010: It's Gonna Have Faith! And Anthony Motley!". Washington City Paper. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  28. ^ Davis, Marcia (October 25, 2008). "Fenty Files for 2010 Reelection Bid". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008.
  29. ^ Craig, Tim (March 31, 2010). "Vincent Gray officially enters race for D.C. mayor". The Washington Post.
  30. ^ Stewart, Nikita; Craig, Tim (October 22, 2009). "With rivals aplenty, Fenty is off and walking". The Washington Post.
  31. ^ DeBonis, Mike. "Where did Calvin H. Gurley find 57,119 votes? The Washington Post. November 7, 2012.
  32. ^ a b Barras, Jonetta Rose (May 17, 2010). "Fenty wins straw poll". The Examiner.
  33. ^ a b c d Stewart, Nikita (June 12, 2010). "Gray bests Fenty in D.C. Democratic straw poll". The Washington Post.
  34. ^ a b Craig, Tim (June 18, 2010). "Gray wins over Fenty in Ward 3 straw poll". The Washington Post.
  35. ^ Manning, Katie (July 22, 2010). "Fenty Wins Ward 2 Straw Poll as Sparks Fly in Debate". The Georgetown Dish.
  36. ^ a b Craig, Tim (August 5, 2010). "Fenty-Gray race wasn't the only draw in Ward 4 straw poll". The Washington Post.
  37. ^ a b Fenty wins! (As a GOP write-in)
  38. ^ a b [1] Fenty Can't Run as GOP Candidate in November]
  39. ^ a b c Roberts, Roxanne; Argetsinger, Amy (September 30, 2010). "White House party crasher Carlos Allen qualifies for D.C. mayoral race, tops ballot". The Washington Post.
  40. ^ "DC Statehood Green Party Candidates for September Ballot". Green Party Watch. August 3, 2010.
  41. ^ a b "Candidate List 2010". District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  42. ^ a b "List of Candidates in the November 2, 2010 Mayoral General Election" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. Retrieved 2010.
  43. ^ "Carlos Allen Retiresfrom HUSH Group Inc". Hush Society Magazine. March 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  44. ^ Who Are the Other Candidates for Mayor?
  45. ^ Gray defeats Fenty as voters choose conciliatory approach over brash tactics
  46. ^ 'Write Fenty In' campaign launches Web site
  47. ^ Craig, Tim (June 30, 2010). "Leo Alexander may not have much money, but he's got Phyllis Schlafly". The Washington Post.
  48. ^ Orvetti, P.J (July 16, 2010). "Who Are the Other Candidates for Mayor?". WRC-TV. NBC Universal, Inc.
  49. ^ "Adrian M. Fenty in the Democratic primary for D.C. mayor" (editorial). The Washington Post. August 1, 2010.
  50. ^ a b Stewart, Nikita R. (September 2, 2010). "Fenty gets endorsement from Latino newspaper". The Washington Post.
  51. ^ "Why Fenty deserves -- and D.C. needs -- four more years". The Washington Examiner. September 7, 2010. Archived from the original (editorial) on December 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  52. ^ "Adrian Fenty: The Jerk D.C. Needs" (editorial). Washington City Paper. September 10, 2010.
  53. ^ a b Stewart, Nikita (June 16, 2010). "Construction union endorses Fenty". The Washington Post.
  54. ^ a b DeBonis, Mike (June 29, 2010). "Fenty, Gray split business group endorsements". The Washington Post.
  55. ^ Stewart, Nikita R (July 20, 2010). "Williams supports Fenty and Graham". The Washington Post.
  56. ^ Stewart, Nikita R (July 19, 2010). "Evans appears in new TV ad for Fenty". The Washington Post.
  57. ^ DeBonis, Mike (August 23, 2010). "22 Days Until Primary Day". The Washington Post.
  58. ^ a b c DeBonis, Mike (July 1, 2010). "Rep. Jared Polis endorses Fenty at gay campaign event". The Washington Post.
  59. ^ Stewart, Nikita R (August 16, 2010). "Bloomberg to endorse Fenty Tuesday". The Washington Post.
  60. ^ Craig, Tim (August 25, 2010). "Current newspapers endorse Gray". The Washington Post.
  61. ^ a b Craig, Tim (September 3, 2010). "AFRO endorses Gray in mayor's race". The Washington Post.
  62. ^ a b c Craig, Tim (May 28, 2010). "District firefighters and police union support Vincent Gray over Mayor Fenty". The Washington Post.
  63. ^ Craig, Tim (July 22, 2010). "Law enforcement lodge endorses Gray". The Washington Post.
  64. ^ Marimow, Ann (May 19, 2010). "Brown and Gray pick up labor endorsements in D.C. races". The Washington Post.
  65. ^ Craig, Tim (June 29, 2010). "Renters advocacy group endorses Gray". The Washington Post.
  66. ^ Craig, Tim (May 28, 2010). "Nurses announce support for Gray in D.C. mayor's race". The Washington Post.
  67. ^ Stewart, Nikita (June 14, 2010). "The boos keep flying at D.C. Mayor Fenty". The Washington Post.
  68. ^ Torbati, Yeganeh June (August 2, 2010). "Personalities Fuel a One-Party Race for Washington Mayor". The New York Times.
  69. ^ Craig, Tim (September 2, 2010). "Mary Cheh endorses Gray". The Washington Post.
  70. ^ Suderman, Alan (September 8, 2010). "Money, Moten, and Marion Edition". Washington City Paper.

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