Fenty, Gray spar over economy, education in D.C. mayoral race debate

The two leading candidates in the race for D.C. Mayor had a fiery a debate on Tuesday night.

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Vincent Gray, Adrian Fenty
Vincent Gray and incumbent Adrian Fenty at the debate on Aug. 24.

Incumbent Adrian Fenty and challenger D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray were having a relatively polite discussion about each of their visions for the city's future when it erupted into a confrontational debate, especially on the topic of education.

The debate was held in the historic 6th and I Synagogue in Northwest D.C. The candidates disagreed on the strength of the city's economy.

"Despite having record reductions in revenue, we have been able to spend less and do more," stated Fenty.

"How can we sit by and have a 10.4 percent unemployment rate in the city?" asked Gray.

They sparred over the Fenty administrations attempt to include unaffiliated and independent voters in the Democratic primary election.

Fenty said, "people have never registered for a party at all should have the opportunity to then register as a Democrat or register as a Green Party or Republican as well."

"I'm willing to take my chances on the electorate that already exists. I don't have to expand the electorate at all in order to get elected," stated Gray.

They directly debated their positions on education and Fenty challenged his opponent on whether he will keep D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

"So you're not going to answer the question?" Fenty asked Gray.

"I've answered the question," replied Gray.

"Yes or no, Mr. Mayor?" asked Fenty.

ABC 7 News was told The board of elections may hold an emergency meeting about the electorate and changes.

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