Mayor Adrian Fenty led Republican primary as write-in, but declines nomination

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: Even if it was legal, Fenty has declined the nomination. Here's his statement, e-mailed to reporters a few minutes ago:

Today's news of the Republican nomination is a recognition of the great progress this city has seen over the last four years. While I am humbled by the nomination, I will not accept it. I believe the best days of the District of Columbia lay ahead, and I will work with Chairman Gray, the Democratic nominee, to ensure that the progress continues and this belief is realized.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: The Board of Elections and Ethics now reports that to be eligible to accept the nomination, Fenty would have had to have been a member of the Republican Party on the mayoral primary date, according to executive director Rokey Suleman. The board originally said Fenty had until 4:45 p.m. to file papers to be a Republican candidate.

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Long story short

Fenty declines Republican nomination, though he got the most write-in votes.

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"He is not legally allowed to accept the party nomination," Suleman says.

The BOEE'S general counsel started reviewing relevant case law when it became apparent that Fenty could capture the write-in nomination, Suleman said. The BOEE released the results of the write-in candidacy around 3 a.m. Friday, but Suleman said he wasn't notified of the general counsel's findings until around 7:30 a.m.

ORIGINAL

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty can claim his primary victory, just not with the Democratic Party.

Early Friday morning, the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics announced that Fenty has won as a write-in candidate for the Republican Party, according to unofficial results. He received 822 votes.

Fenty has until 4:45 p.m. today to accept the Republican nomination, said BOEE spokeswoman Alysoun McLaughlin. Fenty would have to register as a Republican and submit an affirmation of write-in candidacy [PDF].

This scenario has been discussed, but Fenty has previously dismissed suggestions that he would switch party affiliation in the event of a primary loss.

"I'm a Democrat, that is why I wouldn't run as a Republican," Fenty told the Washington Post.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, he also said he wouldn’t make another run for public office. And he verbally endorsed D.C. Council Chairman Vince Gray at the customary Democratic unity breakfast yesterday morning.

Gray defeated Fenty in an expected, but still stunning, loss during Tuesday’s Democratic mayoral primary.

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