Gray finally congratulates Bowser at Democratic unity breakfast
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - At a unity breakfast Friday morning aimed at bringing together the Democratic party, recent primary winner Muriel Bowser was much the focus of attention, as the party keeps its eye firmly on winning another term in power.
Bowser solidly beat incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray by 11 points in Tuesday's primary.
"Our charge now is to bring this city together and focus on the future," Bowser told ABC7 at the breakfast.
As the theme of the event was unity in the Democratic party, several asked Gray if he had yet called to say congratulations to Bowser.
"We haven't spoken," Gray said at the start of the event. "We'll see how things unfold."
Commenting on that response, Bowser said, "Anytime the mayor is ready to talk, we'll be there to listen."
Again, when asked if he would be giving Bowser his support in the November election, Gray answered, "We'll see how things unfold at this stage."
When Gray took the stage in the room packed with Democrats, he said the focus really needed to be on bringing the party together - so, when he stepped off the stage and headed straight for the back door to leave, several reporters asked him if he intended to leave the event without even shaking Bowser's hand.
So, he turned around and did just that - shook his former opponent's hand, earning himself a standing ovation.
Following the breakfast, D.C. residents and fellow Democrats outside the hall said the two need to get along.
"They're grown-ups. They should," said resident Ebony Holmes.
"People have to get over campaign stuff," said Courtney Snowden, a resident and member of the Alternate Democratic National Committee. "[I think] they'll do that. They are doing it right now, obviously, by being at this breakfast."
D.C. worker Vaquea Singletary said she hopes their rivalry won't spill over into their work for the city.
"Hopefully they don't do a disservice to the city, and they just help the community in the best way that they can," she said.
With just seven months until the general election, in which Bowser will face independent candidate David Catania, whom some say will be a formidable opponent, the clock is ticking.