Huffpost DC

'Washington Post' Vincent Gray Poll: 54 Percent Think D.C. Mayor Should Resign

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VINCENT GRAY
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray | AP

WASHINGTON -- A majority District of Columbia residents think that Mayor Vincent Gray (D), who continues to be dogged by an unfolding scandal from his 2010 campaign, should resign, according to a new poll from The Washington Post.

Thirty-nine percent the mayor should stay put while 9 percent had no opinion on the matter, according to the Post, which reports:

Gray’s support is dwindling even among his political base, with 48 percent of African Americans saying he should resign. Among those who say they voted for him in 2010, nearly four in 10 think that he should step down.

Federal prosecutors have detailed a "shadow campaign" effort that was used to boost Gray's chances to oust Adrian Fenty (D) from office during the 2010 race. Three people affiliated with Gray's 2010 campaign efforts have pleaded guilty to charges related to the federal investigation.

Earlier this month, Eugenia Clarke Harris, a close associate of a top city contractor, was charged with steering more than $650,000 to the shadow campaign effort.

Gray, whose 2010 campaign remains under investigation, has denied wrong doing and has not been charged with a crime.

In public comments on the matter, Gray hasn't given a substantive explanation, but has expressed some reservations about what happened: "This is not the campaign that we intended to run."

The mayor, thus far, has resisted calls for him to step down.

Three D.C. councilmembers, Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), David Catania (I-At-Large) and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) have called on the mayor to resign.

The council's interim chairman, Phil Mendelson (D), has said those calls have been premature.

A small group of Gray supporters rallied outside the John A. Wilson Building on Wednesday. As DCist reported:

Led by Rev. Graylan Hagler of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and Rev. Willie F. Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church, participants in the small rally said that Gray deserved respect and the benefit of his constitutional presumption of innocence.

"Lives have been destroyed and ruined," said Wilson, who argued that the investigation into the 2010 shadow campaign had marred the names of otherwise good public servants. "Allow the legal system to take its course."

The Post's poll indicates that only 22 percent of D.C. residents found the mayor to be honest and trustworthy. The poll shows that Gray has lost considerable support among women, particularly white women. Only 6 percent found the mayor to be honest or trustworthy. In a May 2011 poll, 37 percent of white women found the mayor to be honest or trustworthy.

Among black women, 32 percent currently find the mayor to be honest or trustworthy, a drop of 18 points from the previous poll, according to the Post.

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