America Votes

Democrat Muriel Bowser defeats openly gay council member in bid for DC mayor

David Catania

David Catania AP

WASHINGTON — Democrat Muriel Bowser was elected mayor of the District of Columbia on Tuesday, defeating independent D.C. council member David Catania, who was seeking to make history as the District’s first white, openly gay and non-Democratic mayor.

David CataniaAP

David Catania

Bowser, 42, is a native Washingtonian who has served on the D.C. Council since 2007.

She ran as a big-tent Democrat who could appeal equally to the wealthy, majority-white neighborhoods of upper northwest Washington and the poorer, mostly African-American communities east of the Anacostia River.

She was endorsed by President Barack Obama, an unusual development for a municipal election in the nation’s capital.

Bowser outraised and outspent Catania, bringing in $3.5 million for her campaign. Catania raised $1.1 million.

Catania was haunted somewhat by the fact that until 2004, he was a Republican in the heavily Democratic city. The longtime independent left the GOP over President George W. Bush’s support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Catania has earned a good reputation in his 17 years on the Council, but despite his being openly gay, the local gay Democratic club endorsed Bowser.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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