Mary Cheh is neutral no more; Ward 3 Dem calls Vince Gray 'the mayor we need now'

September 2, 2010 - 12:05 PM
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It’s another sign that Vince Gray’s bid for Mayor is gaining momentum. Today on “NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt”, Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh (D) endorsed her Council colleague, saying – during a discussion on early voting – “I voted yesterday, and I voted for Vince Gray. I’m going to support Vince Gray, and I hope the residents of my Ward and around the District also support Vince Gray.”

Given her well-publicized disagreements with Mayor Adrian Fenty, Cheh’s neutrality has been a bit of a puzzler. But today she was unambiguous in her praise of the chairman, calling Gray “the Mayor we need now.”

She expressed confidence he could make the transition from legislator to executive, saying, “Having worked with him over the past four years shoulder to shoulder, I’ve become an admirer. He’s a man if integrity. He is thoughtful. He is intelligent. He wants to bring this city together.”

Cheh said she’s at a loss to explain why her relationship with Fenty has been so poor, particularly given the support he enjoys in her Northwest ward. But she expressed frustration with his governing and inter-personal style, saying, “We cannot have a system that we have now of secrecy, closed doors, and decisions by one.”

Here’s an excerpt from today’s “NewsTalk”:

Fenty campaign spokesman Sean Madigan tells TBD:

Mary Cheh has chosen to align herself against education reform, against improving public safety,and against the improvements of the last three years. More importantly, she has shown she is more interested in cutting political deals than in listening to her own neighbors.

Political analysts say Fenty needs huge margins in Wards 3, 2, and 1 to offset losses he may suffer elsewhere.

In the meantime, the Green Team is out with a new ad taking aim – again – at Gray’s record at the Department of Human Services during the Kelly administration. The spot says the city “lost out on millions of federal dollars for missing paperwork, lost money for the homeless, even lost track of foster children. … Gray's not a bad guy, but he was a bad manager.”

Friday on NewsTalk: Where to get great vegetarian food.

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