Well, the District’s mayoral race is finally over. Thought it would never end.
So many rallies and what were billed as debates but turned out to be mainly speechifying and mud-slinging. A glut of news articles and campaign endorsements styled as news articles. (You know what paper I’m talking about.)
Knocks on doors from dutiful “volunteers.” Flyers through the mail slot and incessant robocalls.
Numerous voter guides, i.e., candidates’ responses to questions posed by diverse public interest organizations — or more often copy-paste from campaign materials. And who would blame those who sometimes decided to take a pass when there were so many?
And yet when I walked into the ballot booth, I still didn’t know what differentiated the candidates — except, of course, for personal style. I’m the last person to say that’s not important. But, in a way, I’d have welcomed a clearer choice on substantive policies and priorities.
Maybe differently-run campaigns would have surfaced clear, bright lines. More likely there weren’t any. And that, I think, is a good thing. Because it means we’re closer to being “one city” than the campaign coverage or ward-by-ward results would indicate.
True, there’s a deep economic fault that splits our community into haves and have-nots. There’s an aggrieved sense of neglect among the latter. There are still festering racial hostilities.
But, in general terms, we agree on what needs to get done. No Tea Party upsurge here.
So Vince Gray will face a lot of challenges. But I, for one, am glad that the choice was more on matters of style and judgment than radical policy differences. Because we’re going to face more difficult times and do need to pull together.