WASHINGTON (WNEW) — Muriel Bowser is a fifth-generation Washingtonian.
Speaking with WNEW in March, she told us “the D.C. of today is very different than the D.C. that I grew up in where the city was dangerous, schools were spiraling out of control, the Congress took us over but what hasn’t changed is people still lack confidence in their leadership.”
So Bowser promised a “fresh start” and in April she won the crowded Democratic primary, easily beating incumbent mayor Vincent Gray, whose 20-10 campaign was (and is still) under federal investigation.
The party’s nominee usually cruises to victory in the general election, since about 75 percent of registered voters in DC are Democrats. But Bowser’s faced tough competition from independent David Catania.
Critics say she speaks in platitudes and doesn’t offer specifics on how she’d govern beyond bringing “all parties to the table.” In a debate on NBC4, she responded to those who say she’s slow to take decisive action and is too sensitive to claims she has a thin record.
“Oh I’m not passive,” Bowser said. “I stand up for what I think. I make sure that I’m involved in every conversation that involves the lives of the District of Columbia.”
Bowser says her style contrasts with Catania’s more combative approach.
“We lead by talking to people, not yelling at them,” Bowser said while receiving the endorsement of the firefighters’ union.
Bowser has been a D.C. councilmember for seven years, where she secured free rides to school for kids and got an ethics bill passed. She has high expectations for a Bowser administration.
“Agency directors to the front desk receptionist to the people that work at the recreation centers…they will have a sense that they have to deliver for the residents of the District of Columbia,” Bowser said.
Note: While Carol Schwartz and David Catania agreed to one-on-one interviews for our candidate profiles, Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser did not. Check in with All-News 99.1 as we go in-depth on several big races across the region.