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Vince Gray may have outpaced rival Yvette Alexander in the Ward 7 race’s latest fundraising cycle, but the incumbent could be getting ready to hit back. Last week, Alexander’s campaign tested critiques of her former political ally, including themes about the federal investigation into Gray’s 2010 mayoral campaign.
The poll included questions about pro-Alexander messaging and the popularity of new Alexander patron Muriel Bowser, according to a Ward 7 resident who took the poll.
More tantalizingly, the poll included potential negative options for Alexander’s campaign. The questions aimed at Gray included statements about indictments garnered by the now-closed federal investigation, a stinging audit on the 2010 campaign’s financials, and a lack of development in Ward 7 while Gray was mayor.
Along with a mailing list, the human-operated poll from longtime District pollster Ron Lester cost Alexander’s campaign $12,000—more than half of Alexander’s fundraising haul between Feb. 1 and March 10.
Alexander’s campaign didn’t comment on the survey, but Gray’s campaign isn’t staying as quiet. In a fundraising email sent out after the poll was conducted, Gray’s campaign treasurer Chuck Thies wrote that the questions included “very negative, baseless messages.”
“No one should trust the results of a poll like that,” Thies wrote.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery