WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- The final evening of a mayoral primary campaign that has become a referendum on the leadership of incumbent Adrian Fenty saw Fenty and chief challenger, City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, making a final appeal for votes across the city.
Gray, planning to stop campaigning in time to catch at least some of a network football game, met commuters at a SW METRO station saying his campaign has become far more than a vehicle for an anti-Fenty vote. Poll show him with a comfortable lead, prompting reporters to ask if a victory Tuesday means he won instead of meaning Fenty lost.
"Certainly I would like to think that I won. We've heard people in many instances talk about anybody but Fenty, we'll vote for another candidate.
"But. I think that in the nearly six months that we've run this campaign I've heard people who had that attitude actually transition to another place where they've said' I'm really against Fenty but now that I've heard Gray, I really support him."
Fenty attended a go-go rally in Ward Eight. Sporting a Redskins Donovan McNabb jersey, he issued a statement aimed at the polls that show him behind.
"Last night the Washington Redskins showed us that it doesn't matter what the experts say when you've got heart, effort and you believe in what you're doing. For the last four years, we've come a long way as a city because of the efforts of supporters like you and the leadership of Adrian Fenty.
"We've also come a long way over the course of this campaign. When the experts said it couldn't be done, that reform was too hard, that the obstacles were too great, you never gave up on Adrian Fenty just like he'll never give up on working to make this a great city for everyone," the statement said.
Fenty urged voters to examine his record.
"I would say if you've got somebody in office with a great record of getting things done, just like in any other job, keep that person in office. Schools are way better than when we took over five years ago.
"There's way more good happening in this city than bad, and we'll learn from whatever mistakes we made to do an even better job next time," Fenty told reporters.