Washington, D.C., city councilmember Marion Barry was elected Saturday to represent the city as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Barry and fellow Democratic Councilmember Jack Evans (D., Ward 2) were the top vote getters in D.C. District 1, trailing gay rights activist Gregory Cendana, the executive director of the Asian-Pacific American Labor Alliance, in total votes. Barry and Evans reportedly bused dozens of supporters to the polls at the University of District of Columbia to ensure that they would be elected as two of Washington’s 15 delegates.
Barry faced criticism from some District residents over his candidacy to attend the convention.
Democratic consultant Chuck Thies wrote a column in the Georgetown Dish that tried to dissuade people from voting for Barry, on the grounds that he would embarrass the city and President Obama.
“He is a walking public relations disaster for the District,” Thies wrote. “Take some time on Saturday to vote, and vote for someone other than Marion Barry.”
Councilmember Tommy Wells also expressed his concern over Barry’s candidacy, telling the Washington Post, “I wanted to support my residents who have a chance to go to the convention. We have so few elected offices, I really thought it would be better for others to run.”
Thies reportedly approached Barry outside the polling place Saturday. Barry did not engage with Thies, and said that he did not want to be distracted by “crazy stuff.”