D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser’s campaign for District mayor is making strides in endorsements, fundraising, and organizational strength that is not being matched by her competitors.
Bowser, who is the Democratic candidate for mayor and represents Ward 4 on the council, received the endorsement of two labor groups recently. On Aug. 11, the executive board of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO announced its support for Bowser in the Nov. 4 general election. “Muriel Bowser represents the best choice for working people in D.C.,” Metro Council President Joslyn N. Williams said. “Having endorsed Muriel twice before in previous elections, labor feels that we can work productively with her. She has supported labor’s positions on paid sick days for workers, increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation and free speech on picket lines.”
The local AFL-CIO represents 175 labor unions in the public, private and federal sectors, with 150,000 union members in the Washington area. Bowser’s campaign will benefit from the AFL-CIO’s fundraising apparatus and its members will work to ensure her victory in the general election.
On Aug. 12, District Council 20 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) said it supports Bowser for mayor.
AFSCME has 6,000 members and is the largest union representing District government employees including sanitation workers, social workers, library aides, crossing guards, and school bus drivers. Like with the AFL-CIO, the Bowser campaign will have access to AFSCME’s fundraising capabilities and volunteer efforts.
Bowser will face at-large D.C. Council member David Catania, former D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz, and Nestor Djonkam who are running as independents, and the nominees for the D.C. Statehood Green and Libertarian parties in the general election. In the Aug. 12 report of the Office of Campaign Finance, Bowser has far surpassed her competitors in terms of raising money. The report showed Bowser brought in $511,160 with $1,026,632 cash on hand.
Bowser, who reported 1,202 new contributors, said that her fundraising strategy is working well. “With less than 90 days to go in this election, it’s clear residents across all eight wards are responding to a positive vision for the District’s future,” Bowser, 42, said. “And, because of the thousands who contributed to this campaign, we’re only getting stronger-and moving that much closer to a fresh start in the District of Columbia.”
Hundreds of District residents have volunteered or supported Bowser’s campaign whether by hosting a “meet-and-greet,” walking the city’s neighborhoods with her or on her behalf, and stopping by to help in the campaign offices on Georgia Avenue in Ward 4 and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Ward 8.
Charles Wilson, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 8 and the leader of the Historic Anacostia organization said it appears the Bowser campaign is doing the right things. “She definitely has the most energetic campaign and the most energetic supporters,” Wilson said. “She has so many advantages such as being the Democratic Party nominee and it does not hurt that she is an African-American woman. She is doing well compared to who she is running against.”