Muriel Bowser Elected as Mayor of D.C.

Muriel Bowser Elected as Mayor of D.C.

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D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser defeated Council cohort David Catania in the District's mayoral election Tuesday night, becoming just the second woman in the city's history to hold the seat.

The race was called for Bowser shortly after 11 p.m.

Bowser, 42, a protégé of former Mayor Adrian Fenty and fifth-generation Washingtonian, held off Catania (I-At Large) and D.C. political stalwart Carol Schwartz (I) in an oft-contentious race that was ultimately much closer than expected in the heavily Democratic city.

Running on a platform of education reform, neighborhood revitalization and government transparency, Bowser garnered 55 percent of the vote to Catania's 35 percent, with roughly 80 percent of all precincts reporting.

Schwartz, the venerable former Council member who has made several bids for mayor, got 7 percent of the vote upon entering the race after the April primary election.

Bowser surprised many in the Democratic primary when she scored an upset victory over incumbent Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who guided the city through a prosperous period but was hounded by corruption accusations.

The Ward 4 Democrat picked up numerous important endorsements during her campaign, including President Obama.

Catania, a former Republican who was vying to become the city's first openly gay mayor, was unexpectedly competitive in what was anticipated to be a cakewalk for Bowser after topping Gray in the primary.

Bowser will be the second female D.C. mayor after Sharon Pratt Kelly, who served from 1991 to 1995.

Photo: Roy Lewis